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Dec 7, 2015 12:00 AM

Landrigan: 3-year campaign brings POW-MIA chair to its rightful place in NH State House


CONCORD - It’s not just a chair to the loved ones of prisoners of war and those missing in action.

"Many of us veterans have been disgusted and embarrassed that it was hidden up in the third floor in the next building,’’ said State Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry.

And for nearly three years they fought to get it moved to the historic Hall of Flags.

Rolling Thunder, the national advocacy group for prisoners of war, was a prime mover behind this move.

"This is a place of honor," said Bob McGuigan, New Hampshire chairman of Rolling Thunder. "When you come in here you can feel its presence when you walk in here and look around. We just felt this was the appropriate place for this Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Chair of Honor."

On the day that will live in Infamy, New Hampshire joins a handful of states to have this chair inside their State House.

"It’s a shame it took so long but there’s been an awful lot going on in the State House as you know and I’m just grateful we got it done,’’ said House Speaker Shawn Jasper, R-Hudson. "It was very appropriate to do on Pearl Harbor Day."

And McGuigan says this is the right spot.

"The Hall of Flags. This room represents New Hampshire’s history, it has all the flags and relics going back to colonial times,’’ he said.

This one’s personal for Hudson Republican State Rep. Russ Ober who won the Silver Star for his part the immortal Son Tay Raid to rescue POWs from North Vietnam

"That’s why this chair is so important to me because we tried to rescue some POWs and would have had they been there,’’ Ober says.

So we have a chair moved to a very appropriate place on a very appropriate day.

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