Thursday marks a sad anniversary, with potential repercussions for decades. On Jan. 6, 2021, violent insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol. It was the first attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812, when the British stormed the building in hopes of derailing the young government.

The Jan. 6 insurrectionists smashed windows, ransacked offices, defecated in hallways and rotundas, spreading their feces on walls. They beat Capitol police with American flags, fire extinguishers and basically anything they could find. One guard was killed one and at least two later committed suicide. The rioters caused $1.5 million damage with their purported “peaceful” march.

They chanted they wanted to kill Vice President Mike Pence, who was accepting and counting the electoral votes that would ultimately verify the election of now-President Joe Biden. Someone set up a gallows and noose outside the Capitol.

They did more than physical damage that day. They damaged the nation’s soul. This is not how a democracy works. We don’t try to overturn elections (proven by dozens of courts to have been fair) with force.

There is so much rhetoric, but we need to focus on one fact: The rioters were violent and had bad intent. And it was all caught on camera. We need to continue to support the nonpartisan Congressional investigations. We need to respect the process. We need to respect our democracy. We need to respect Congressional subpoenas. We need to play this out to the bitter end, gather all the testimony, exonerate those who are innocent and prosecute those who aren’t.

We are heartened by the progress of the bipartisan Congressional investigation. But still saddened and shocked that the insurrection even took place. America’s global reputation as an invincible beacon of democracy has been destroyed. It may not be fixable.

Let’s hope we can heal as a country. The wound is not even scabbed over yet. It is raw.

And that is sad.

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