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May 9, 2013

N.H. House vote supports marathon victims

CONCORD — The New Hampshire House yesterday passed a resolution honoring victims and heroes of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The 312-0 vote came in the absence of Rockingham County lawmaker Stella Tremblay, R-Auburn, who has gained notoriety for speculating the federal government was behind the attack and questioning whether a double amputee bombing victim was really in pain.

“She hasn’t endeared herself to anyone,” Rep. Mary Griffin, R-Windham, said of Tremblay.

Griffin voted for the resolution.

“We’re showing the people of our country we’re standing behind them,” she said.

So did Rep. Walter Kolodziej, R-Windham.

“The people who helped in this tragedy deserved this recognition,” he said.

But Kolodziej refrained from criticizing his colleague, Tremblay.

“That’s the great beauty of America,” he said. “We’re all entitled to our opinion.”

Griffin was appalled not only by Tremblay’s comments, but the attack itself.

“What kind of world are we living in?” she asked.

Rep. Elisabeth Sanders, R-Danville, said she voted for the resolution out of respect for those who died.

“This is a continued recognition of what’s happening,” Sanders said. “I worked in Boston for years and always enjoyed going to the marathon.”

Sanders also withheld direct criticism of Tremblay.

“I’m not going to make any comment about her,” she said.

But the resolution itself, without naming Tremblay, said “the House does hereby disavow any unfounded speculation or accusation that dishonors those affected by the tragic events in Boston.”

The resolution said “recent remarks” had taken the focus from honoring victims and celebrating heroes.

Three House leaders — Speaker Terie Norelli, Majority Leader Stephen Shurtleff and Minority Leader Gene Chandler — sponsored the resolution.

“We felt it was imperative that the New Hampshire House show support, honor and respect for the victims of the terrible events in Boston,” said Chandler, a Republican from Bartlett.

“Any remarks made to the contrary are not representative of the New Hampshire House or the citizens of the Granite State,” Chandler said.

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