We are publishing this issue on the day Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. With this editorial written a week prior, we are praying for a safe, uneventful inauguration ceremony – in keeping with tradition, one that emphasizes the importance of democracy in our country and the peaceful transfer of power.

Based on recent events, however, we’re concerned it may not turn out that way.

Despite a massive social media blackout, the FBI reported last week multiple organized attempts to attack not only the White House, but also state capitol buildings across the country. Needless to say, the country is tense and on high alert.

The horrific events of Jan. 6 that produced the unthinkable – a successful storming of the halls of Congress – has us all re-evaluating our own issues locally. Next to the survival of our country, our debates over reach codes, texting at council meetings and using unmarked pathways all seem pretty trivial. Surely, it makes us pause and gain perspective as we reflect on the bigger picture.

Perhaps that fresh perspective has us rethinking how we look at local issues and how we perceive those who have a different view of them. The Capitol siege illustrated the danger of inflammatory rhetoric by our political leaders, and the way it can lead to violence. On a local level, shouldn’t it make us realize the importance of listening and calmly talking through issues, rather than letting matters escalate?

Issues such as housing density, traffic and downtown visioning pale in comparison to what’s currently happening nationwide. Still, these issues are our issues, and they will still be with us when the dust settles. As we deal with them, let’s keep in mind dates like Jan. 6, Sept. 11 and Dec. 7. They are reminders of what’s important, of appreciating what we have in this country. And how we could lose it.

After last week’s attack, some shaken lawmakers pulled back on challenging Biden’s Electoral College victory. They opened their eyes and saw the harm being done to the country. Our recent local elections have seen an increase in personal attacks and line-in-the-sand mentalities that have plagued us nationally. Let’s not go there. Let’s use this moment as a reminder to work better together to resolve our problems and get things done.