Letter to the Editor

I have decided that it is time and past time to speak up about the so-called Washington DC riots. I was there and have some firsthand knowledge of what happened. I realize that to admit being there is to risk arrest, but I think we should all be willing to sacrifice and anyway, I am an old man who has made sacrifices before.  
 
Yes, I was there all day. I listened to all the speeches including the one made by President Trump.  I and everyone there was convinced, and I still am, that our system of government was being destroyed before our eyes.  It was a cold winter day, but I thought we could visit the museums while we were there and have some fun and warm up at the same time.  
 
It was not to be.  All the museums were closed and locked up, and there was no place you could go to get out of the weather.  Restaurants were intentionally closed as were public restrooms.  We had to stand on our feet the entire time.  I was at the Washington monument and witnessed the park service forcing everyone out of the lobby and locking the doors.  There was no place to sit down.  I believe they did this deliberately to make it as hard on the people as they could.  There was a row of portable toilets but not nearly enough.   They quickly overflowed, and there was no place people could go to relieve themselves.
 
It was an older crowd.  There were a lot of people there the age of Ted Landers and myself. I know that they suffered.  I observed one person being removed on a stretcher myself.  I am not surprised that some people died considering the age of the crowd and the conditions we endured.  When I consider everything that happened that day, and the news coverage we received since then, I have become convinced that someone was trying to make it as hard on us as they could.
 
As luck would have it, I saw the so-called bomb.  I first saw the police, they were telling everyone to get back, that it was a bomb.  The crowd backed up maybe 20 feet and we watched the police pick up a bag that was setting on the ground by a tree and carry it away.  I told someone that it must not be a bomb and that if it was the cops were being very careless in their handling of it.  In retrospect, considering the coverage of the event, I can’t help wondering if I didn’t witness another piece of “fake news” being manufactured.
 
I listened to President Trump’s speech and joined the march to the Capitol building.  I believe my pictures confirm that the march was a peaceful one.  I see nothing that reminds me of the riots in Portland, Oregon and other places.  I did walk all the way to the capitol building and I did climb the steps.  As we climbed near the top step, the crowd sort of drifted to the left and formed a single file going down so other people could come up.  I think everyone wanted to climb the steps and make some noise.  After all, we believed we were witnessing the destruction of our system of government that has worked for us for the last 200+ years and created the greatest country that ever existed on this planet.  Winston Churchill said “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”
 
Based on the news coverage of my riotous activities in Washington DC, I suppose I should feel guilty about what I did.  I suppose I may require “re-education” in a camp created somewhere for people like me.  Plenty of examples exist to show how this can be done.  It’s sad, but it has always been easy to find people to run the camps.  Their excuse is always the same, “I was only doing what I was ordered to do.”  I think freedom-loving people need to consider a quote by Benjamin Franklin and take it to heart, "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
 
Hershel Hollingshad
 

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