There should be few among us unfamiliar with the Gettysburg Address, particularly the following phrase, "...this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Americans should well understand the value of self-government. While those who govern at the national and state levels may sometimes seem out of step with the wishes of "the people," we know that there are many viewpoints. Dissatisfaction from the perspective of one person is likely contentment in the view of another. In a democracy, the majority rules.

Locally, we have the opportunity to play a direct role in the governing of our towns. In Groton, for instance, a Town Meeting Review Committee is working to determine what residents think about Town Meeting and what changes would make them more likely to go and vote.

A great many key decisions are made by voters at Town Meeting. The higher the attendance, the more vigorous the debate and the more likely the action taken will meet with the approval of a majority of residents.

Groton taxpayers will find a survey in their next bill from the Groton Electric Light Company. The survey is from the TMRC as they seek to garner residents' thoughts on the matter of Town Meeting.

We commend the town for seating such a committee and the members for giving it their time.

We hope a great many residents will take the time to answer the questions and add your voices to the discussion of this important issue.