Thursday, November 6, 2008

Burying the Hatchet, Delaware Style

Delaware has a great tradition that the rest of the country might do well to emulate. On Return Day, two days after the election, all candidates from the election ride together -- winners and losers -- to The Circle in Georgetown (in Sussex County, one of our three, the other two being Kent and New Castle). Traditionally, the candidates ride in carriages and antique cars; this year. Once there, the town crier reads the election results from the courthouse balcony for all to hear. The ceremony is followed by all kinds of food, the main dish being roast ox sandwiches, given free to all who attend.

Return Day marks the official end of the election season. Since tradition decrees that winning and losing candidates be together for the symbolic burial of the hatchet, it's a way of saying, "Whew! Boy, am I glad that's over!" It's also a way for people to get their heads screwed back on straight and realize that our opponents are really just people like us and that it's time to put the campaigning and rhetoric behind us and get down to the work at hand.

The candidates may shake hands and smile and still dislike their political rivals, but here in Delaware, they still have to do it, and do it publicly.

Return Day seems to be a pretty good idea. "Small wonder" ... it's a Delaware idea.


  1. Sounds like the good old days! But I doubt inside the Beltway will follow suit!

  2. What a neat idea. I've never heard of it. Then again I've never lived outside of my southern state either...