January 6, 2021

Union veterans telling stories to a group of boy scouts at the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1938. Source: https://www.achs-pa.org/

Regarding January 6, 2021

To understand the meaning of democracy we need to reflect on our history. I start with the final words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Those very last words – government of the people, by the people, for the people – are the cornerstone of our democracy. We cannot accept people storming the Capital in Washington to get their way through violence and force.

There will always be transitions in government and we must rededicate ourselves to ensure that those transitions are peaceful and orderly and determined by elections. We can never accept the chaos and tyranny that we saw on January 6, 2021.

Nor can we accept as leaders of our Country those who would stand by and allow it to happen.