November is an unusual month. The waning days of autumn can be warm and glowing with the last blaze from scarlet trees. And then, all can turn quickly and winter can arrive briskly, bringing snow and cold. But November is also filled with civic and historical events. This November was not an exception.
A welcome surprise was the 48 percent turnout for an off-year election. Those who voted brought some change in local elections, from school boards to Indiana’s Borough Council representation. It remains to be seen as to how those changes will work.
The election also brought an unwelcome surprise and that was the fact that so many did not know the purpose of a referendum.
Perhaps the purest form of voting in a democracy where taxes are a necessity, a referendum gives voters the opportunity to entirely decide if they want a tax increase or not. In this case, it would be the voters of the Indiana Area School District and the proposed 12 mill increase for maintaining current programs.
The decision would be entirely done by the voters, not the board, and would be binding by law. Just a suggestion to the voters, please refresh yourself with Initiative Referendum and recall all options in a democracy such as ours.
Finally, November brought two historic anniversaries to the forefront; the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. We all need to refresh our history to understand how these events changed us as a nation.
Last, but certainly not least, we also honor our veterans in the month of November. Having hardly ever missed the parade in all my years in Indiana, I take pride in how my hometown honors those who have served.
But I would remind parade-goers and parade participants that there is a somberness to the day that requires understanding the decorum. Taps from the buglers requires silence. The “Star Spangled Banner” requires hat removal. The moment of silence at 11 a.m. requires silence. And this parade is not homecoming nor is it the Halloween or holiday parade. The throwing of candy should be kept to those parades only.
As we continue to mark Thanksgiving holiday, let November finally be the month that has enriched so much historically, civically and personally. Let’s all give thanks for all the blessings of liberty that we share.