The News Journal | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko
I would like to share the remarks I made to the Delaware House of Representatives on Jan. 28 regarding the passage of HR5 condemning the violence in Washington on Jan. 6:
“First let me thank all of my colleagues who supported the resolution condemning the assault on the U.S. Capitol and committing to a peaceful and respectful discourse in the conducting of public business.
“The tragic events in Washington on Jan. 6 cannot and should not ever be forgotten. A firm commitment by all of us must be made to ensure that it is not.
“There is more to that day, however, that must be said here for the record.
“When I witnessed the plight of Delaware’s first black female congressperson, Lisa Blunt-Rochester, forced to cower with her colleagues in fear for their lives, threatened by a mob of criminals and criminally intended thugs I was appalled and my heart sank. When I witnessed this woman of courage offer protective masks to her colleagues so that they might be protected from the virus my heart swelled with pride despite the fact that some of those colleagues foolishly and derisively refused her magnanimous gesture.
“When I witnessed the violent mob of criminals storming our nation’s capitol, mercilessly attacking the police with weapons and fists even beating one heroic policeman to death my heart sank. But when I witnessed the uncommon bravery and courage of Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman standing in harm’s way, willing to sacrifice his personal safety and life to protect our congress-people and their staffers, even going so far as to provoke the rioters in order to lead them away from the chamber where defenseless staffers and electeds were huddled my heart once again soared. I was filled with admiration and gratitude for the heroic efforts and uncommon courage of this true American hero and for every one of those heroic policemen who defended against this assault on our democracy. They are heroes all of them.
“When I witnessed the president of the United States, Donald Trump, urging, cajoling and inciting the mob of insurrectionists to mount their assault on one of our most revered institutions as referenced in Sen. Mitch McConnell’s own words and I quote here: ‘The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first brand of the federal government which they did not like.’
“My heart sank and I felt a new wave of darkness sweeping our nation. But when articles of impeachment were approved by a bipartisan vote of the House of Representatives charging this president with inciting insurrection my heart once more swelled with pride in our great Democracy and I knew America and its people would always prevail on behalf of truth and justice.”
— Rep. John Kowalko, Newark