I was watching the live broadcast of the governor when my friend messaged me saying the protestors in D.C. had made their way past the barricades and into the Capitol. 

For most of the rest of the afternoon, I flipped back and forth between Twitter and television broadcasts to get the latest information.

I saw the photos of individuals at Nancy Pelosi’s desk, the photo of the guy walking out with a podium, tweets of journalists letting the world know they were in hiding and that one was having a panic attack because they had been made to be an enemy for the past four years and a video that showed a woman being shot and lowered to the floor.   

Some of it was hard to watch or hear. 

At times I had one of the questions that many have said: how come the police weren’t stopping them, and as they were leaving, why weren’t they stopped and arrested? 

This was the first time the Capitol had been breached since August of 1814 when British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned the Capitol and the White House. 

Before the breach, congress had been in the middle of a joint session to count electoral votes and certify President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. 

Ever since the election, President Donald Trump has challenged the results.

As stated in USA Today, “The president, his lawyers and his allies have filed scores of lawsuits; made repeated allegations of election fraud in news and social media; organized protests; tried to convince state legislatures to take action; and held hearings in various state houses, hotel ballrooms and, at one point, a landscaping company.” 

But, Attorney General William Barr declared that the U.S. Justice Department had uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.

Trump’s attempts to change the outcome of the election make him seem like a child who won’t accept that he lost.

In a last attempt to hold up the certification process, Trump and his supporters declared Jan. 6 as a day to “stop the steal.” 

On Dec. 19, Trump tweeted, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” 

The movement grew in groups such as Stop the Steal on Facebook and other groups and sites. 

On the day of the protest, Trump met with the crowd at the “Save America Rally” to say, “All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats, which is what they’re doing and stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”

He also told his supporters he would walk with them down to the Capitol. 

Toward the end of his speech he also said, “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country any more.”

He riled them up, and off they went to the Capitol. 

They vandalized the building to get in, but it was almost like after they were inside, they didn’t know what to do. 

They looked juvenile as they sat in Nancy Pelosi’s desk, carried out Pelosi’s lectern, dangled from the Senate chamber and more.

Getty Images Chief Photographer Win McNamee told ABC7 News, “The scene in the rotunda, it was complete mayhem. People were entering from multiple directions...people were climbing on these historic statues, posing for selfies, chanting.”

After over an hour of chaos, Trump finally Tweeted telling his supporters, “you have to go home now…. We have to have peace. We have to have law and order.”

In his message, he also continued to spread the lie that the election was stolen. 

It wasn’t until about 5:40 p.m. that the Capitol was secured, shortly before D.C.’s 6 p.m. curfew. Lawmakers returned to the Capitol and proceedings resumed around 8 p.m. to certify the election. 

Trump also Tweeted that evening, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” Twitter deleted that Tweet, and has since removed Trump’s account, an action also taken by Facebook and other social media outlets.  

Five people are dead after these events, an Air Force veteran, three individuals who died from medical emergencies and a Capitol police officer who died after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. 

Five people are dead because of this senseless act that was fueled by someone who is supposed to be a leader.

There’s a right and wrong way to have your voice heard and to protest, and this was not it.  

This was an embarrassment. 

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com

Ashley Hodge is the editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at ahodge@gazettevirginian.com