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A letter from President & CEO Dan Berglund

January 07, 2021
By: Dan Berglund

This week’s SSTI Weekly Digest contains a full slate of stories, some of which focus on the federal government. To report these stories without commenting on yesterday’s events and not acknowledge what has occurred over the last 24 hours could give the impression that we do not think the assault on the Capitol was significant. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

In my lifetime, September 11, 2001, and yesterday were the two worst days for America. On 9/11, I along with the rest of the country mourned the loss of thousands as a result of an attack of foreign terrorists, and I wanted justice for those lost. Yesterday, I watched symbols of our democracy polluted by an assault of domestic terrorists.

The Senate chamber where the body deliberates and votes; the speaker’s dais where FDR declared December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy; and statuary hall with statues of American heroes from Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and Sequoyah stand were overrun by domestic terrorists intent on preventing the House and Senate from fulfilling their constitutional duty to receive the votes from the Electoral College.

We condemn these individuals and what led up to their assault on the Capitol — years of unfounded conspiracy theories fueled by the president, encouraged by some of his political allies, and inflamed by cable and web media sites.

Make no mistake about it: the people who overran the Capitol were the adult versions of playground bullies spewing stupidity. But they also represented a real physical threat.

Bullies and ignorance thrive when people don’t stand up, speak out and take action. We saw yesterday that our democracy is safe only when all of us are willing to stand up, speak the truth and confront the bullies.

We stand with our democracy, with science and with facts.