Memorial Day . . . A day of remembrance

Memorial Day . . .a day of remembrance. Words, symbols, heated rhetoric and clever argument all pale when measured against the brilliance of the white of marble and the emerald carpet of living grass. Dignity, honor, respect and a day of remembrance is all that they ask now of us. Especially, remembrance. From their dark and silent graves, these men and women give honor to our Nation. With fields and fields of flags upon their graves, we bear quiet witness to the precious, eternal value of the sacrifice of these Americans. Whether in combat, or fifty years later surrounded by only the memories of comrades long since passed, the men and women resting forever under those flags once marched proudly under that banner. They have earned nothing less than the unqualified respect of a grateful Nation, and her grateful people.

“…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion, that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God, …and that government of the people by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Memorial Day… a day of remembrance. Honor the Day. Honor Them!

Low Turnout Afflicts Primary Day

This was my first primary election in Tredyffrin Township as a candidate. Knowing that all candidates for the Board of Supervisors were endorsed and that the election was uncontested, I guess I was still surprised. On Tuesday, May 19, I arrived early at my polling location (W2) at Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli with the memory of November 2008 Election Day still fresh in my mind. That autumn day the voter line stretched through the parking lot, on to the sidewalk and down the street. The wait to vote was nearly 1-1/2 hours but the festive, party-like atmosphere made the wait even more exciting!

With memories of the last Election Day swirling in my mind, I enthusiastically looked forward to 2009 Primary Day (and my first as a candidate). After morning and lunch-hour rushes that looked more like a trickle, I remained the eternal optimist. Until the polls closed at 8 PM, I visited the township’s 17 voting locations and met many volunteers and voters. The day provided a wonderful opportunity to see many old friends, and to meet new ones.

The polls closed and the votes were counted. The voter turnout was low . . . a history-making low for Tredyffrin Township. We had 12-15% of our registered Tredyffrin Township voters participating in this year’s primary. In the days since the primary, I have reflected that the election was probably overshadowed by the attention-grabbing presidential campaign of last year; many voters were still feeling the ‘burn out’ from the politicking of 2008.

Thank you to the voters who voted in the primary. Remember, for local government to be effective we all need to participate in the process. I am looking forward to an exciting Election Day 2009 – Tuesday, November 3 when our vote can make a difference!

May 19 – Primary Day is Approaching!

Many voters consider “off year” elections to be less important than presidential-year elections. That’s just not true.

As elections get closer to home (congressional to state to local), the voting districts get smaller. This means that there are fewer people casting a ballot, meaning the candidates have fewer votes to compete for. This makes each vote weigh even more. Not only that, but decisions made at the local or state level often lead to more immediate change in your community…the further up you get, the slower improvements or changes to policy can come. But this also means that damage can be done more quickly.

So whether you are a student, a young professional, a homeowner, a retiree, or a a single parent, it’s important to vote in each and every election. Take the time to know your candidates and vote for that person who best represents your view for the future of our community. As residents of this wonderful community, we depend on our local elected officials to represent the voters – show your support with your vote. All 6 candidates (3 Democrats and 3 Republicans) in the race for Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors are endorsed candidates and will appear on the November 3 ballot. In this year’s election there are 2 At-Large seats and the seat in the middle available. For the first time in a very long time there are no incumbents for the 2009 election in the Board of Supervisor race for Tredyffrin Township.

Community Service Beyond the Individual

A question that we need to ask ourselves is whether we are striving hard enough to put aside self-interest and are looking to find a stronger collective social conscience. Dedication to community is a progressive ideal and my fundamental belief is in the importance of giving back and serving the community. Remembering JFK’s famous quote, “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

America is fortunate to be one of the world’s birthplaces of the concept of community service. Early pilgrims had to serve each other to keep from dying in early times. When the early colonists realized they had a choice between tyranny or freedom they banded together in every community to keep their communities safe from the tyranny of British military oppression. Men, woman, and children with deep conviction and high integrity rose to face the difficulty of the times with heroic character.

Today’s society has problems as well as any other time in our history. Daily we see dramatic scenes of the very people who should be the lighthouses of community service, acting inappropriately. We may witness certain elements of society riddled with corruption, poor character, and far more concern for themselves than any community they serve.

Community service in its ideal form is a way of doing something positive for the community. When everything in the community seems to be breaking, families falling apart at the seams, economic leaders telling us to prepare for a loss of economic will, I get upset and I ask myself have we really arrived at a true and lasting definition of what community service really means. Community service and giving back is what I know and it is what I contribute to Tredyffrin Township. Community service is a positive way of making the community a better place for everyone. Regardless of the outcome of the November election, I remain committed to serving our community and giving back.