My high school class trip to Washington DC had bussed us around to historical landmarks, but it wasn’t until as an adult, when a return to the District presented me with the thrill of walking around these sights.
In December 1980 my cousin Lynda and I had packed our bags for a week-end getaway. We drove south on I-95, our destination Carrollton, Maryland which is just outside Washington, DC. We settled in the home of relatives Leon and Margie–hanging out, listening to music, gabbing incessantly, while sampling foodies washed down with our special beverages. This and other subsequent weekend getaways to Maryland often included spontaneous Midnight Drives around DC’s streets—empty and silent.
Leon was a DC police officer, and as our guide he was aware of the quickest routes through the city. Staring out the window from my back seat, whenever we passed government buildings, I sensed an energy in the air, as if the pulse of the Nation’s business of that day had hunkered together in anticipation of the next day’s challenge.
This midnight drive was a stop and walk at the Lincoln and then the Jefferson monuments. Approaching them at night, there’s no comparison if a visit had happened during daylight. At night floodlights caress the monuments, radiating the historical command of these two former Presidents: Lincoln through his brooding face; Jefferson standing in that egotistic pose.
Between 1983 and 1987, traveling to the Capital had opened another sojourn. Then I was employed in the Congressional District Office of former Congressman Democrat Peter H. Kostmayer. When the DC office became overwhelmed with a large volume of tasks requiring quick results, we traveled to Washington and helped them in their efforts.
Anyone reading this who’d ever walked along the halls of the Congressional or Senate Office Buildings, or recognized names etched on plaques outside their offices, or took the elevator down to the tunnel and ate in the cafeteria, or peeked into a committee hearing room, or stood in the middle of Statuary Hall, or gazed up at the art in the Rotunda ceiling, would know that any of those experiences were unforgettable.
The Capitol is our National Treasure; and on January 6, 2021 our Government was violated by people consumed with ignorance and hate, intent on destroying Democracy.
Hypnotized in front of my television, I watched in horror when goons—encouraged by cult leader Trump–marched from the ellipse to the Capitol. A flood of bodies trampling across the grounds toward the Capitol. Surely, I thought these people would not dare climb the steps; that they would stop at the bottom and scream their rage, bluster and flag waving.
They charged up those steps as if shot from a cannon. They smashed glass and crawled through windows, then roamed the halls hunting for elected public servants to kill. It was horrible
They rampaged throughout the Capitol splashing their ignorant, ugly, crude, vile, racism everywhere.
Five people are dead and 140 or more are suffering from severe bodily injuries or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
AMERICA’S NEW NORMAL
The siege on the Capitol brought an American New Normal. A 7-foot fence topped by concertina wire now surrounds the Capitol with National Guard troops patrol the outside perimeter while stationed inside the building.
A February 5, 2021 article in “The Hill” reported 42 GOP members had sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting that the fencing come down. No decision has been made,
On February 13, 2021 the second Impeachment of Donald J. Trump, the Senate voted NOT GUILTY for his January 6, invitation to destroy Democracy.
With Trump’s latest *Get Out of Jail* card, the barbarians remain emboldened. Talks continue for an Independent Commission to Investigate the Siege on the Capital.
Make it happen.