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January 6, 2021
January 6, 2021 - the day my neighborhood and country were attacked.
The text came in at 4:01 p.m. Delivered by a family member, a down-to-earth, calm, easy-going guy. It read:
Guys, I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but it may be time for you all to get out of the city.
Whatever calmness I had up to that point had vanished.
An hour and fifteen minutes later, my partner and I, along with our dog, fled from our Capitol Hill home to a cousin’s house in Bethesda. Earlier that afternoon, Kevin Seefried and his son Hunter, who had traveled from Delaware to participate in the Stop the Steal rally, carried the Confederate Battle Flag into the Capitol Rotunda. Thousands of like-minded people joined them.
The South Rose Again
The image of the Stars and Bars carried in proudly in the halls of the American people is what sticks with me. Kevin and Hunter did something Robert E. Lee couldn’t accomplish, forcing a full retreat of American legislators. Chants of hanging the Vice President rang throughout the Senate Chambers. They looted the Speaker of House’s office. They were hunting traitors that day while the rest of us sat and watched it on TV.
I second this. The police are overwhelmed, and it is only going to get worse after dark.
A second family chimed in moments after.
Lock the doors, draw the blinds, and set the alarm.
Did anyone see where I left my calmness? Because I can’t find it.
Every Action Has an Opposite Reaction – Right?
It sounds flip, but it’s not every day the Capitol gets attacked. You would think when a group of people, regardless of size, military capability, or sheer stupidness, attempting to overtake the security force sworn to protect the legislation governing building would be met with equal force.
But that didn’t happen.
Instead, the Seefrieds and their rebel buddies had the full support of the sitting president of the United States, Donald Trump, who promoted the sick lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him. Neglecting his sworn oath to protect the country against all enemies, in this case, domestic, he devised a plan, rallied his violent supporters to DC, then wound them up and ordered them to take back our country through strength.
The scene was surreal – a mob, with their red baseball hats firmly in the place, stormed up the steps of the Capitol. Trump flags, Confederate flags, Gadsden flags, American flags all waved in the middle of a sea full of people. You opened the back door and heard sirens over a symphony a loud commotion. It was the Trump Army battling the Capitol police.
Where’s the cavalry? How will this end?
Seriously, I swear I thought I put my calmness right next to my keys.
Family Wasn’t Messing Around
But if things get hairy tonight…and it’s not looking good…your opportunity to get out might be sun setting.
At 4:48, we read a report that explosives were found at both the Republican and Democratic National Committee headquarters, buildings that are roughly two blocks from our home.
Pack it up, and let’s go.
By the time we arrived at our safe house, the fighting was over. We watched the aftermath on TV, and it appeared everyone who shoved their way inside was free to leave. The Senate resumed the official duty of certifying the election that the rioters had successfully postponed but ultimately failed to prevent. People wondered around the Capitol grounds like the Fourth of July fireworks were completed, and they had nowhere to be anytime soon.
The cavalry wasn’t coming. And there would be no end in sight.
The following day, we learned of the mess the mob left:
· Five people died during or shortly after the riot
· One person was fatally shot by a Capitol Police officer
· 140 law enforcement officers were attacked by pepper spray, flags, pipes, and good old-fashioned fists
· Millions of dollars of damage were caused throughout both chambers
· An estimated 2,000 people participated, and 700 were charged
· 13% of those 700 have a military or police background.
· 119 defendants have ties to Q-Anon, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, or other anti-government organizations
One year later and we are somehow debating what happened that day. To elected officials, it’s just a simple Senatorial procedure, allowed by the United States Constitution, or an act of protest, with a small group of agitators to further a lie that has been disproved. To a major news network anchor, it’s a false flag to purge Trump voters from election rolls.
For a second time in his only term, the president was impeached but stayed off removal because we could only muster seven votes from Republicans. Quite a few who voted to acquit have since retired from office. Cowards.
It’s easy for me to explain what happened on January 6. 2021 – my neighborhood was attacked by white nationalists, supported by conspiracy theorists, stubborn yellow-dog partisans, and the Chief Executive, put into office because they disliked Hilary Clinton more through the ability to elect someone by an antiqued system. Trump tried to hold onto power, but he failed. I’m not naïve to think another attack won’t happen again.
I just have one question. Do we even have a cavalry?
Because the battle for democracy is on, and I don’t think we are winning. The barricades around the Capitol and the National Guards people protecting it with weapons are gone, sure, but Congressional mid-term elections stare us in the face, and historically it’s never good. Then it’s back for presidential election season, and the cycle begins all over.
The battle for truth is unlike anything we have ever encountered. The Civil War had strict territories and, despite sympathizers for the Lost Cause, remain in the North to this day, fighting an adversary who doesn’t believe in truth, but instead believes what is fed to them, with an appetizer of fear, means the deck is stacked against us.
My neighborhood and country were attacked one year ago today. We need a cavalry to carry truth and ensure that January 6, 2021, never happens again.