Whatever one thinks of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn’s politics, her importance can’t be denied
The removal of the recently installed memorial in Concord, N.H., commemorating the life and work of intrepid labor activist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is outrageous (“A rebel from a century ago still manages to ruffle a few N.H. feathers: Communist Party ties prompt officials to remove historic marker,” Page A1, May 16). Apparently Flynn’s well-known leftist orientation offended a couple of local New Hampshire Republicans.
The indomitable Flynn is a notable personage in this country’s history. Her name and legacy deserve to be remembered and respected. Valiantly she stood up for hardscrabble workers and the destitute. Though their political persuasions and personal beliefs differed, Flynn and Dorothy Day, cofounder of the Catholic Worker, remained friends until Flynn’s death. She bequeathed her rocking chair to Dorothy. It was said that legendary songwriter and labor organizer Joe Hill wrote “The Rebel Girl” for Flynn.
Fiery, outspoken, and contentious in her lifetime, Flynn was a prototypical feminist and indefatigable fighter for justice. Some disagree with her politics, yet her historical importance cannot be denied. Her plaque in Concord should be restored so that all who wish to view it can do so.
N.H. official’s objections to historic marker don’t hold up to a close examination
I was interested to read that Joseph Kenney, a member of New Hampshire’s Executive Council, is eager to fight “anti-American” plaques. He objected to the one that honored Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, because she was also a leader of the American Communist Party. Kenney feels that honoring Flynn is an insult to our veterans who fought against communism. I assume he is speaking of our fight against the communists in Korea and Vietnam, since the United States and the Soviet Union fought on the same side during World War II.
I am glad that Kenney is opposed to those who would attempt to overturn our democracy. I assume this means he would be opposed to any commemoration of Donald Trump and any Republicans who promoted the belief that the presidential election of 2020 was anything other than free and fair.