‘A Dagger At The Throat Of Democracy’

A Reflection on the January 6th United States Capitol Attack


Trump supporters outside the Capitol with gallows on January 6th(Photo:Shay Horse/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Morgan Salter, Staff Writer/Editor

Every generation of Americans live through a moment of history that defines that generation. Whether it be WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, the war in Vietnam and counter culture, Watergate, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the break up of the Soviet Union, 9/11, the list goes on and on and on.

Americans deal with a lot, experience a lot, and learn from a lot. Since being born in ’04, I’ve lived through quite a lot: the Recession of ’08, the first African-American President, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the rise of school shootings, COVID-19, and much more. Yet, one event happened that will stay with me forever: the January 6th Capitol Attack.

I remember it clearly. It was an ordinary Wednesday at school, a sunny yet cool day, the election was going to be certified like it has been every four years since the founding of our nation. President Trump, since November, refused to concede and he was going hold a rally. Since it was a defacto of that Administration, I thought nothing of it.

I went about my day perfectly fine until about 1pm when my phone started buzzing in my pocket. I got it out, it was Twitter, Tweets about protesters from Trump’s rally marching down to the Capitol as they start to gather. I remember scoffing saying to myself what will that do? Trump lost, don’t they know that? I put my phone back and went back to school and finished up the school day.

Insurrectionist on the Senate Chamber floor(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

It wasn’t until I got home around 3pm and turned on the news and saw what had happened in a few short hours. The U.S. Capitol was put on lockdown, the election certification had been stopped, lawmakers had been whisked away, and I remember my heart just dropping, time froze, and a gasp came out of my mouth. I sat there as I watched in horror as I saw people who claimed to be Americans and patriots ransack the Capitol, waving Confederate flags, something that has never happened not even during the Civil War, rummage through offices, and desecrating the sanctity of the Senate floor. What disgusted me the most was the beating and savagery they inflicted on the Capitol police officers carrying out their duty protecting not only the Capitol and lawmakers but democracy itself. These “patriots” claimed to support police officers and love America, yet carried out this. What disgusting, vile, and hypocritical human beings.

I remember I went up in my room and just sat there for hours watching it, hoping that I did not just witness a coup of America. I got called down to dinner. I didn’t eat much as I was too sick to my stomach to eat. I quickly went back upstairs and kept watching, just hoping the police and national guard would quell the violence. Shortly after 6pm the news came that D.C. was under a 12 hour curfew a sigh of relief came out now all that was needed was to have the Capitol become secure again. I remember waiting and waiting and waiting, a small tick kept pulsating in my head tick….tick…..tick. Waiting for more news like a hungry dog.

Two hours later…at 8pm the Capitol had been fully cleared and secured and Vice President Pence reopens the Senate. The news anchors stops talking and a live stream from the Senate floor comes to my screen its quiet. Pence then states, “Today was a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol” it’s quite again, “lets get back to work.” With that the chamber erupts with applause and I sigh and breath of fresh air comes back into me. The nightmare is over I remember thinking.

CO Rep. Jason Crow comforts other members of the House(Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc Getty Images)

I muted the TV because I’ve had enough of it I finish my homework, and then took a shower, I usually listen to music in the shower…I didn’t I stood there trying to process what I just saw and witnessed for more than 8 hours, I must of been in there for 30 minutes just standing there thinking. After that I got into bed unmuted my TV and I sat there watching and making sure the election get certified, I was too afraid to fall asleep, I couldn’t, what would happen, if something even worse could happen? Finally around 1am my exhaustion got the best of me and I fell asleep.

I woke up the next day, the election had been certified and I had to go to school I remember everyone was off that day nobody really knew what they just witnessed I remember walking into my AP Comparative Government class. Nobody wanted to talk about what happened the day before. What was usually a fun, light class quickly went dull we tried to lighten up the mood and joke about Trump getting banned on Twitter yet that put a sour taste in all of our mouths and we continued on with our studies and waited to see what more information would come out. That day I truly realized the world would not wait on anybody no matter how horrific something was the world kept spinning it wouldn’t stop.

It has been a year since that event took place, I quite honestly is still shocked something like that happened. I watched on the anniversary as Vice President Harris and President Biden spoke in the same room where many insurrectionists were. A sense of hope started to ooze out of me, I look back at what we have been through as a nation. No matter the threat or dark obstacle we face as country we always seem to get through it stronger than we have before.

President Biden delivers remarks on the anniversary of Jan. 6(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Every generation of Americans live through a piece of history, they learn from it. What they experience through it shapes their view they end up fighting for that view and echo it down to future generations to not have history repeat itself. On that dark day we saw how fragile democracy is even in the most powerful nation in the world. What President Biden says a “web of lies” wraps itself around the pillar of democracy, it starts to chip away at it and it erodes very quickly. So what will I be echoing down to future generations and to even some of my own? Democracy is fragile, no matter what side of the aisle you reside on yet together we make it strong. We must remember it takes two hands to pull the dagger away from the throat of democracy.