by Michael Boyink
Douglas County Herald
There are often weeks when it feels like, as a newspaper editor, I should say something.
And there are often weeks when it’s hard to know what to say.
Then there are weeks when both of those are true.
This is one of those weeks.
I remember being at my TV-store job when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up, 100 screens all showing the replay over and over.
And I remember being at my corporate IT job when the Twin Towers collapsed, all of us prairie-dogging out of our cubicles to watch a large TV on the wall.
I’m sure I’ll never forget last Wednesday, transfixed as a live news feed out of Washington D.C. showed images of the United States Capitol Building getting stormed and looted by rioters while our leaders sequestered away behind locked doors.
Three times when our country was rocked to its core.
Yet, last week was different.
When the Challenger blew up, we came together as a country and mourned the loss of our astronauts.
When the Twin Towers collapsed, we came together as a country, mourned our dead, and united in an effort to find and punish the people responsible.
Many questions remain about the events of last week.
Who all was in that crowd?
How much of this was planned in advance?
How far was it supposed to have gone?
Why did it take so long for the National Guard to show up?
How will they prevent the Biden inauguration from becoming round two?
Whose fault was it?
There’s a lot we don’t (yet) know.
But there is something we do know.
The riots were a result of a spirit of divisiveness that has been looming over our country this entire election season.
And this time, unlike during the aftermath of the Challenger and Twin Towers, I don’t see us coming together in solidarity after the tragedy.
Instead, the headlines are all fingerpointing. Blameshifting. Political posturing.
Maybe it’s just too soon. Maybe once all the resignations, firings, investigations, impeachment proceedings, and cancellations are over, we can once again pledge our allegiance to the flag.
And be one nation. Under God.