I was scheduled to be the in-person coverage for our office on January 6. I was well aware of the planned rallies on the National Mall and thought I could skirt the pro-Trump crowds by biking to work along the south side of the Mall.
Although the Trump crowds had been in DC for a few days, they were larger than usual and there was a weird vibe in the air. I skirted the Washington monument along the south side to avoid long lines of Trump supporters, holding flags and murmuring.
I had a pretty busy day at work and had planned to stay until 5pm or 6pm, but when I saw this video, I knew I needed to leave work and get home.
I biked far north, avoiding the White House and the Capitol grounds as protesters turned into rioters and stormed a building that has always been a powerful symbol our democracy for me. I remember walking past the lit dome of the Capitol as I walked to take my oral examination for the the Foreign Service back in 2012 and feeling inspired about the greatness of my country.
I didn't feel inspired on January 6. I usually have a lot of opinions about things like this, but there hasn't really ever been a thing like this in the modern era. So I'm speechless. And saddened.