By Matt Johnson
The events of Jan. 6, 2021, have drawn comparisons to the attack on Pearl Harbor, which the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, described as “a date which will live in infamy.''
Before all of America's eyes hundreds of protestors stormed into the U.S. Capitol, destroying windows and assaulting police officers. The actions resulted in the loss of five lives, including a member of the Capitol Police.
For the first time since the War of 1812, the U.S. Capitol fell under siege Jan. 6. The event led to 26,000 National Guard troops being stationed there until Inauguration Day due to the fear of another attack.
And with President Joe Biden preparing to address a joint session of Congress tonight, the Capitol is once again on high alert.
As many politicians spoke out about the events that unfolded at the Capitol Jan. 6, all their feelings about it were relatively the same regardless of party.
“January 6, 2021, was a dark day in American history and will live on in infamy,” former Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey responded in an email request for comment. “Incited by the former president of the United States, our Capitol was attacked by a violent mob seeking to overturn the results of our election. They failed, but in the days and months ahead we must work to hold those responsible accountable as we work to repair our democracy.”
“I unequivocally condemn the assault on Capitol Hill, and those who committed the vandalism and crimes should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” longtime Republican Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey said in a statement released by his office. “Special thanks to the Capitol Police for their brave and decisive action to mitigate and then end [the] crisis. There needs to be good enforcement of those who did this so it has a chilling effect on future acts like this.”
“Despite its many flaws, the U.S. Congress continues to be a marketplace of ideas and differing opinions,” Smith added. “(It) requires robust debate and genuine respect for one another even -- and especially -- when there is fundamental disagreement.”
That both Booker, a Democrat, and Smith, a Republic, denounced the storming of the Capitol in the strongest of terms speaks to the violation that occurred Jan. 6 and the need to come together in its wake. Both parties have been open about the event and agree that it was a terrible day which will forever be remembered for the wrong reasons.
The events of Jan. 6 show the division in the United States. Americans need to learn how to look at each other with respect and decency regardless of political beliefs, race, gender and so on. What people believe in should not stand in their way of a nation of peace.