Former Vice President Mike Pence recently referred to the assault on the Capitol as “one tragic day in January,” while speaking to the Christian Broadcasting Network, “I’m not going to allow the Democrats or the national media to use one tragic day in January to demean the intentions of 74 million people who stood with us in our cause, and I’m not going to allow the Democrats to use one tragic day in January to distract attention from their failed agenda and the failed policies of the Biden administration. We’re going to focus on the future”.
Capitol Police Sergeant Gonell was visibly upset as he talked about the events that traumatized him on January 6th. He feels that former Vice President, Mike Pence’s minimization of what happened on January 6 is a disgrace. He stated, “We did everything possible to prevent him from being hanged. What we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battle. We fought hand-to-hand, inch-by-inch … I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, this is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance”.
Gonell told NPR. “That one day in January almost cost my life, and we did everything possible to prevent him from being hanged and killed in front of his daughter and his wife. And now he’s telling us that one day in January doesn’t mean anything. It’s pathetic. It’s a disgrace. He swore an oath to the country, not to Donald Trump”. Others may disagree and argue that Donald Trump was at the time the President of the United States and that he was supposed to be defended just as Joe Biden is President of the United States now and that he is to be defended. Some may not feel loyal to either and all while some may believe that violence is never the answer and that things could have been handled better.
Maybe just as important as the overwhelming feelings and emotions on both sides are the questions of loyalty to the United States. Capitol Police Sergeant Gonell, who is in continuous therapy because of the physical and emotional trauma that happened to him that day told reporters that “some members of Congress were communicating with some of the rioters, and with some of the coordinators, or in the know of what would happen, and it makes you question their motives and their loyalty for the country, as we were battling the mob in a brutal battle where I could have lost my life and my dear fellow officers, as well”. Minimization of the days events are triggering for him. “To be honest, I did not recognize my fellow citizens that day, or the United States they claimed to represent,” Gonell said when he testified.
A photographer at Reuters, Jim Bourg claimed, “I heard at least 3 different rioters at the Capitol say that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor. It was a common line being repeated. Many more were just talking about how the VP should be executed.”
Thirty-five year old Ashli Babbit, an Air Force Veteran was shot and killed at the United States Capitol in January 6th. She left a family and friends that loved and cared for her behind. Since then, at least 130 Capitol Police officers have quit, retired, or found other jobs. Four Capitol Police Officers have died by suicide since January 6th. It has been a tough year for many. The country was divided before that day and a year later the United States is still divided. Where will 2022 take us?
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.