A kick in the pants to the ever-widening divisions in America that led to an angry mob overrunning our nation’s Capitol as members of Congress fled for their safety.

The images captured by photojournalists who stayed behind are startling. A man flies a Confederate flag in the halls of the Capitol — something many Americans died to prevent during the Civil War. Others take selfies in the seat occupied by the vice president before he was rushed out of the room minutes before, and a man puts his feet up on the Speaker of the House’s desk, a crumpled American flag tossed haphazardly behind him.

We don’t know if any local residents were there. But what we do know is that one look in the comment section of the East Oregonian’s Facebook page and other local social media shows the same divisive rhetoric and lies inflaming the violence at the Capitol is also present in Eastern Oregon. Far too many people here see half (or more) of their own fellow Americans as an enemy that must be defeated.

It is not too late to work on healing the rifts in our nation and in our communities, but it’s not something our leaders can legislate away. Strengthening our country and bringing the “united” back to United States will take hard work by everyone.

A tip of the hat to those working to help Pendleton’s unmanned aerial systems range continue its growth.

Despite the pandemic, Darryl Abling, the UAS range’s manager, said operations in 2020 were up compared to 2019, and he expects the range to set new records in 2021.

Jobs at the range are currently at just under 100 positions, and future growth there means future growth for the entire community.

A tip of the hat to Althea Huesties-Wolf, an educator from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation who rewrote the curriculum for the CTUIR’s GED program.

Huesties-Wolf incorporated a wide variety of literary genres and multicultural topics and improved the structure of the course with additional flexibility and assessments to determine the readiness of students to take the GED exam. She is working hard to provide a rich, quality education to students whose life circumstances took them outside the traditional path of a four-year high school education.

We appreciate her efforts, and wish her students the best of luck in their endeavors after they leave her class.

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