Twenty years ago today, we banded together as our country came under attack. Together we mourned for the thousands of people who died as Flights 11, 175 and 77 became weapons striking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

We solemnly celebrated the passengers and crew of Flight 93, who stormed the cockpit of their hijacked flight in an attempt to regain control from the four terrorists who had killed their pilots. The plane went down in a field in western Pennsylvania. No one survived.

Together we cried for the nearly 3,000 lives lost that day. Names scrolled across our televisions. They were printed in our newspapers. It was real. It was here.

Flags of red, white and blue were displayed in windows, attached to cars and hung from more than a few homes.

We were at war and terrorism was our enemy.

It was a slow erosion, but the unity fractured. The cracks, perhaps, were always there. Twenty years later we are more divided now than we’ve ever been. Red vs. blue. Democrat vs. Republican. Left vs. Right.

The chasm is so wide, so deep that we politicized a pandemic while more than 650,000 Americans died.

Can we heal? Can we close the divide?

We owe it to ourselves, and the ones we’ve lost, to try.

Ryann Brooks

News and Online Editor

(10) comments


All of these post that you all have put in writing just shows that there is no hope for this country. It is both parties extremist that are ruining this country and will ruin it unless the moderates on both sides take it over. None of you I would be a part of that because you are all too extreme. Both sides use the extreme news and far left and far right politicians to get their information from which is almost always lies.


Great article by Ryann. Unfortunately, the far left is destroying America and rational people do not agree with it. The far left burned, looted and destroyed many of their major cities last summer. A white cop killed a black man in cold blood in MN. A black cop killed a white woman in cold blood in D.C. The former set off a hurricane of fake racism. The latter was covered up. The Democrat cities lead the nation in crime, murder, lock downs, homelessness, small business destruction, unemployment, racism, de-funding police, rigging elections, Critical Race Theory, cancel culture, early release of violent criminals, unprecedented illegal immigration, criminal justice "reform" and a host of other damaging policies hurting Americans and America. It will all stop in the blowout election of Nov. 2022 but by then the damage to the country will be irreparable. "Coming together" is not possible anymore.


Ashli Babbit was not killed in cold blood, lol. She was in the process of attacking our democracy and got what she deserved for breaking into a place she knew she wasn't allowed to be. She was clearly warned.... Her death is also not being covered up, you can go watch it on Youtube. You just don't like the fact that her death was justified. She was deep into the QAnon conspiracy theorist stuff... so brainwashed she actually believed what she was doing was right.

And I have a feeling 2022 might not go as you think it will... you already lost the last election and you've been letting tens of thousands of your voters die off every month for the past year... I hear Newman Regional Health only has 2 more beds... Saad!! Plus we've been bussing in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Mexico and dropping them off in Republican areas with instructions to vote multiple times for democrat lol.

I agree "coming together" probably isn't gonna be possible... and honestly who wants to "come together" with the type of people who attacked our democracy anyways? They've spread misinformation that has cost so many people their lives, getting closer and closer to 700,000... very saaaad!!


Aim High landed low again. She was unarmed, had 2 officers standing 6 feet from her and she was trespassing just like all the others. It was covered up until the murderer came forward on his own. Floyd was a career criminal and drug addict. By your definition he deserved to die too.


And by your definition any cop who shoots an intruder in self defense is a murderer. Floyd was slowly choked to death while not resisting on a public street. Babbit was attacking our democracy, just like all the others, and just happened to be the first to cross the last line of defense our leaders had. The rest of the

"patriots" with her quickly changed their tune.

Im looking forward to this Saturday... watching a bunch of traitors demand "justice" for their traitor buddies... The sorest losers of all time.




It is a LIE that the "far left" is Destroying America! It was the FAR RIGHT that took up arms against America on January 6th, Killing 6 people, seriously injuring many others, with many having Lifetime Injury. There were NO "Lefters" in that Violent Crowd that also went SEARCHING to Capture and KILL V.P. Pence, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It is a Total Lie that the left is destroying America. It is the REPUBLICANS AND YOUR MOB LEADER, DONALD TRUMP who has NEVER, EVER Told the Truth!


In a Scott Rasmussen poll released today, fifty-seven percent (57%) of Democratic voters indicated that they believe supporters of Donald Trump are a serious threat to the nation. And that, Ryann, is the majority of us -- our family members, our friends, our neighbors, and your readers.

I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I've lived in Emporia a very long time and I can unequivocally state that the characterization of the 53.74 percent of Lyon County residents who voted for Donald Trump as serious threats to the country is beyond ludicrous and worse than insulting; it's irrational.

Irrational people want two things: they want attention and emotional reaction. And they will bully, control, and provoke to get the attention and emotional reaction they desire. The best way to deal with them is to give them as little of a reaction as possible and, until my fellow Democrats regain their senses, I can only hope that Kansas Republicans will do as they have always done and politely agree to disagree.


If we can all own up to the error of our angry politicization of our ways, we can recover from our current situation. If we fail, we have doomed our country and ourselves.


I find it very hard to see how we can come back together. I’m afraid the extremist on the far right and far left of getting too much of a holed on their parties to make a change. On my way I can see it changing is that somehow the moderates on both sides come together and take control.

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