Statements on the January 6 Insurrection

Democracy is Stronger Than Terror

January 6, 2021
3:22 PM EST


The United States Capitol Historical Society is shocked and heartbroken by today’s violent disregard for American values and our Constitution. The U.S. Capitol is more than a building – it is the embodiment of American democracy and our way of life. We are a nation of laws, and the peaceful transfer of power is among the most fundamental hallmarks of our Constitutional republic.

Those who enable the malicious forces opposed to these principles betray the foundation upon which they stand. Our system has been tested before by those willing to suppress the will of the majority, but democracy is stronger than terror. Now is the time for every citizen to stand up and move to respect the will of the people as demonstrated in their vote.

January 13, 2021

This week the flag outside our offices in the VFW Building next to the Hart Senate Office Building flies at half-staff to honor United States Capitol Police (USCP) Officer Brian Sicknick, who lost his life defending the Capitol against the insurrection on January 6th, 2021. The United States Capitol Historical Society (USCHS) joins the Congressional community in the hope that his murderers are brought to justice. We are keenly aware that grief cannot be adjudicated, and we pray that his family and loved ones find comfort and peace in time.

As our understanding of the situation develops, we learn that there were serious security planning failures. Sadly, there are allegations that some officers may have been complicit in the uprising. We trust the Congressional investigation to get to the truth and provide appropriate consequences. At the same time, we learn of acts of courage undertaken by officers defending our democracy. A dramatic example is the quick thinking and personal courage displayed by Officer Eugene Goodman of the USCP which bears special recognition. Officer Goodman recognized in a split second that the violent mob was just yards away from the unsecured Senate floor, and chose to lure them away from the vulnerable chamber by using himself as a decoy. The distraction lasted just long enough for the entrance to be secured. It is distressing to imagine what might have happened had he not thought and acted so quickly and bravely. Clearly Officer Goodman met the moment with honor.

We wish a quick recovery to all of the USCP and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers who suffered injuries as they put their patriotism above their personal safety to protect the Capitol. We are grateful for their sacrifice and the service of all who defend our constitutional government.

Most of all, we will continue our work to demonstrate that democracy is stronger than terror.