On Jan. 6, 2022, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris held a memorial for the one-year anniversary of what Harris called the “violent assault on democracy.”
They presented it as a grave day in history that ought to be remembered for years to come. There is no doubt this was an intense, heavy day and one we should not be proud of. However, the events of Jan. 6, 2021, do not warrant continual grief or discussion. We should move on.
In Biden’s address to the nation earlier this month, he said, “The Bible tells us that we shall know the truth, and the truth shall make us free. We shall know the truth. Well, here is the God’s truth about Jan. 6, 2021.” Biden then described the event but didn’t state the truth about Jan. 6.
“Close your eyes. Go back to that day. What do you see?” Biden asked. “Rioters rampaging, waving for the first time inside this Capitol a Confederate flag that symbolized the cause to destroy America, to rip us apart.”
We all remember watching the riot on TV or reading the reports. People were mad. They acted irrationally, but they were not attempting to destroy our country. Few were armed. This was not a planned attack or insurrection. It was a large crowd responding in anger to a passionate speech.
But that is not how Biden or Harris want us to remember Jan. 6. Harris began her speech by comparing that day to much more horrific, heavy days in American history.
“Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them – where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault,” Harris said. “Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory. Dec. 7, 1941. Sept. 11, 2001. And Jan. 6, 2021.”
Do you remember exactly where you were on Jan. 6, 2021? Were you stopped in your tracks? It is irreverent to compare this day to ones that carry immense significance in our country such as Dec. 7, 1941, or Sept. 11, 2001. The attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 not only took the lives of over 2000 people but also launched America into WWII in which 416,800 Americans died. On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3000 people lost their lives. At most, 4 people died as a result of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Two of those deaths were deemed natural causes, and 1 was due to an overdose.
Harris continued with her reflection on the heaviness of the day and its impact on history.
“You know, I wonder, how will Jan. 6 come to be remembered in the years ahead?” Harris asked. “Will it be remembered as a moment that accelerated the unraveling of the oldest, greatest democracy in the world„ or a moment when we decided to secure and strengthen our democracy for generations to come?”
Harris presents two options, but Jan. 6 is not a fork in the road that determines the future path of our country. Perhaps, Jan. 6 will be remembered as a day on which another riot occurred. Manyany riots andand protests have occurred throughout America’s history – nnone of them are marked by a special annual memorial. Let’s not forget the riots of the summer of 2020. I don’t remember any memorial days for those attacks on property, citizens, or businesses.
Because Harris marks this memorial as a crucial turning point in our country, she uses the day to turn to her agenda.
“And the work ahead will not be easy. Here, in this very building, a decision will be made about whether we uphold the right to vote and ensure free and fair elections„” Harris asserted.ed. “Let’s be clear: We must pass the voting rights bills that are now before the Senate.”
To be clear, the memorial of Jan. 6 was used to advocate action for more power to be granted to the government. Painting Jan.. 6, 2021, as an unforgettable, crucial day in history begs people to grant the government whatever power they want to fix our problems. They want us to panic and yield to them.
In a few years, Jan. 6 will be another normal day at the start of a new year. It is only now that it is being remembered and falsely depicted in an effort to persuade more to support our current leaders.
Jan. 6 is not a day that should be celebrated. It has left a stain on our country. It was not a good day. But should not be compared to tragic days in our nation’s history. We should simply admit our wrongs and move forward.