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America’s Saddest Day Has Come To Pass

I have been around this country now for many decades. Yet, I have never witnessed a sadder day in our history than this past Wednesday when a mob took control of the Unites States Capitol building. It was made especially sad because it was incited and supported by the President of the United States.

I had turned on the TV early in the afternoon to watch the democratic process of the certification of the Electoral College vote-a traditional event held every four years, usually not controversial, but made so this year because the President had challenged its validity.

President Trump had gone earlier in the day to “pump up his troops” who had gathered on the National Mall. Promising to march with them to the Capitol (which he didn’t do,) he incited this mob to go to the Capitol building during the Electoral College proceedings in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. They then marched up Pennsylvania Avenue, attacked the Capitol Building forcibly entering it, and then roamed through the building damaging and desecrating the sacred deliberative chambers of the U.S. Senate and House. It was the most un-American and anti-democratic action I have ever witnessed in this country.

When asked by President-elect Biden and leaders of his own party to address his supporters to stop the violence, the President, late in the afternoon, made a short speech claiming the election had been stolen from him, told the mob that he loved them, and then in a half-hearted way asked them to go home.

This is an event which will forever change the face of this country. This comes in the category of the Pearl Harbor attack or 9/ll attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in terms of its impact on our country. The view of our country as a bastion for democracy will be forever impacted.

We tend to take for granted that Americans will abide by the result of our elections, that we are a nation of laws and not of political strongmen. That vision was broken this week.

Recently, in this column, I wrote that January 6th could be the day that President Trump might “fold his tent” and then turn on the vice president as his final scapegoat, blaming Mike Pence (in his ceremonial post of chairing the certification process) for losing the election. I never envisioned that, in so doing, he would incite a mob to attack the nation’s Capitol.

If there is any silver lining, it is that the U.S. Congress went back into session after the events of this tragic day, worked through the night and voted to accept the results of the election. But, our lives as Americans will be forever changed. Unlike Pearl Harbor or 9/11-this attack was from within, fomented by a sitting President of the United States.

Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.

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