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Bill for an Old Man of the Mountain day hits resistance in Concord

An effort to honor the Old Man of the Mountain is hitting headwinds in Concord.

The legislationwould have marked May 3, the day the stone face fell from its perch above Franconia Notch in 2003, as a day of remembrance.

Old Man of the Mountain sign, the "Great Stone Face," in Franconia, NH on June 13, 2022. Zoey Knox photo / NHPR
Zoey Knox
/
NHPR
Old Man of the Mountain sign, the "Great Stone Face," in Franconia, NH on June 13, 2022. Zoey Knox photo / NHPR

On Wednesday, a House committee voted to reject the measure, following testimony
that was at times tearful.

David Nielsen, whose family acted as caretakers for the Old Man, described how he and his wife once placed the cremated remains of his father inside a fissure on the rock's face.

"Deb and I were successful in placing my dad's ashes in the Old man's left eye. It was his wish to remain with the Old man, and in fact he does today," Nielsen said at the hearing.

The state day of remembrance has support from top lawmakers in Concord, including Speaker Sherman Packard, Senate President Jeb Bradley and Governor Chris Sununu.

But opponents, including those who said the fallen stone face deserves more recognition, said this bill is the wrong way to do it.

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