|Pix credit HERE|
Remember, Remember, the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas his intent
To blow up the Kong and Parliament
Three score barrels of powder below
Poor old England to overthrow
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match
Holler boys, holler boys, let the bells ring
Holler boys, holler boys
God save the King! (Words For Life UK)
Observed in the United Kingdom every year on November 5, Guy Fawkes Day—also called Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night—commemorates a failed assassination attempt from over 400 years ago. On November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes and a group of radical English Catholics tried to assassinate King James I by blowing up Parliament's House of Lords. The plot went awry and all of the conspirators were executed. Soon after, Britons began to celebrate Fawkes' demise and the survival of their king by burning effigies, lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks—a tradition which has continued to this day. (History.com HERE)
|Pix Credit HERE|
However it is and will be celebrated/signified in the future, the first tentative steps toward its embedding in the ceremonial calendars of the Republic are already underway. This post marks the way that the core of American leadership in this, its new era, has chosen to mark the events--with ceremony and speeches, and other related events. Its character and signification about both the events and those engaging in these official events, I leave to to others.
9 a.m. President Joe Biden is expected to deliver remarks regarding the deadly assault on the Capitol.
Noon: Prayer, the pledge, a statement from the Chair and a “Moment of Silence” will be held during a House Pro Forma Session on the House Floor. The House will not be in session during this event.
1 p.m. A "Historic Perspective" conversation will be held at the Cannon Caucus Room between historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and John Meacham "to establish and preserve the narrative of Jan. 6." Moderated by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden.
2:15 p.m. U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) hold what they're calling the “Republican Response” to Jan. 6. The lawmakers' response comes as Trump canceled his planned speech in Florida. Gaetz has asserted the rioters were leftist militants “masquerading as Trump supporters.” Greene says the event is intended to be a "Republican response to expose the truth about the January 6, 2021 protests." The pair are outspoken supporters of Trump's false voter fraud claims.
2:30 p.m. Lawmakers will share their accounts at the Cannon Caucus Room regarding the deadly Jan 6 attack. These accounts will be presided by U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, an Army Ranger and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who comforted Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., while police fought to keep protesters out of the chamber.
2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. The Movement Catalyst will host a candlelight vigil at the National Mall. Movement Catalyst is a social movement support hub. The vigil will be held for democracy and in remembrance of "the attack on democracy that occurred on Jan 6th, 2021."
4:45 p.m. A coalition of more than 130 organizations will hold a candlelight vigil near the U.S. Capitol. The Baltimore Urban Inspiration Choir will perform during the vigil at the National Mall on 3rd Street between Madison Drive Northwest and Jefferson Drive Southwest.
5:30 p.m. Lawmakers will hold a music and prayer vigil on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
6 p.m. Look Ahead America, a group that supports jailed Jan. 6 insurrectionists, holds a #JusticeforJ6 rally and candlelight vigil at the D.C. Detention facility. This is one of 16 such vigils being held throughout the country. The organizing group asks that participants do not wear attire or bring signs "referencing political parties, candidates, or other organizations." Look Ahead America encourages wearing patriotic clothing, bringing American flags and a small votive candle, battery-operated candle or small flashlight. (LIST: Here's what's planned in DC)
In that regard the remarks of President Biden are important discursive markers and deserve careful contextual reflection. I take this opportunity, then, to post the text of President Biden's address delivered at the Capitol on the morning of 6th January 2022, and to add context with a reposting of the President's remarks a year earlier, on 6 January 2021.
Joe Biden, Remarks Delivered at the Capitol, Washington D.C: 6 January 2022 (transcript Courtesy of USA Today) The official transcript may be found on the White House Website:
Remarks By President Biden To Mark One Year Since The January 6th Deadly Assault On The U.S. Capitol
Madam Vice President, fellow Americans. To state the obvious, one year ago today, in this sacred place, democracy was attacked. Simply attacked. The will of the people was under assault. The Constitution, our constitution, faced the gravest of threats.
Outnumbered in the face of a brutal attack, Capitol Police, the DC Metropolitan Police Department, the National Guard and other brave law enforcement officials saved the rule of law.
Our democracy held. We the people endured. We the people prevailed.
For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election; he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol. But they failed. They failed.
And on this day of remembrance we must make sure that such an attack never, ever happens again. I'm speaking to you today from Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. This is where the House of Representatives met for 50 years in the decades leading up to the Civil War.
She recorded what took place. The real history. The real facts. The real truth. The facts and the truth that Vice President Harris just shared and that you and I and the whole world saw with our own eyes.
The Bible tells us that 'We shall know the truth and the truth shall make us free.' We shall know the truth. Well, here is the God's truth about January 6, 2021.
Close your eyes. Go back to that day. What do you see? Rioters rampaging. Waving, for the first time inside this Capitol, the Confederate flag that symbolizes the cause to destroy America. To rip us apart.
Even during the Civil War that never, ever happened. But it happened here in 2021. What else do you see? The mob breaking windows, kicking in doors, breaching the Capitol. American flags on poles being used as weapons, as spears.
Fire extinguishers being thrown at the heads of police officers. A crowd that professes their love for law enforcement assaulted those police officers. Dragged them, sprayed them, stomped on them. Over 140 police officers were injured.
We all heard the police officers who were there that day testify to what happened. One officer called it "a medieval battle" and that he was more afraid that day than he was fighting the war in Iraq. They've repeatedly asked since that day, how dare anyone, anyone, diminish, belittle or deny the hell they were put through? We saw with our own eyes. Rioters menaced these halls, threatening life of the Speaker of the House, literally erecting gallows to hang the Vice President of the United States of America.
But what did we not see? We didn't see a former president who just rallied the mob to attack sitting in the private dining room of the Oval Office in the White House watching it all on television and doing nothing for hours.
Police were assaulted. Lives at risk. The nation's Capitol under siege. This wasn't a group of tourists. This was an armed insurrection. They weren't looking to uphold the will of the people; they were looking to deny the will of the people. They're weren't looking to uphold a free and fair election. They were looking to overturn one. Then weren't looking to save the cause of America. They were looking to subvert the Constitution.
This isn't about being bogged down past. It's about making sure the past isn't buried. That's the only way forward. That's what great nations do. They don't bury the truth; they face up to it. Sounds like hyperbole, but that's your truth. They face up to it.
We are a great nation. My fellow Americans, in life there's truth and tragically there are lies. Lies conceived and spread for profit and power. We must be absolutely clear about what is true and what is a lie. And here's the truth: The former president of the United States of America has created and spread a web of lies about the 2020 election.
He's done so because he values power over principle, because he sees his own interest as more important than his country's interest, than America's interest. And because his bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution.
He can't accept he lost even though that's what 93 United States senators, his own attorney general, his own vice president, governors and state officials in every battleground state have all said: He lost.
That's what 81 million of you did as you voted for a new way forward. He's done what no president in American history, in the history of this country, has ever, ever done.
He refused to accept the results of an election and the will of the American people. While some courageous men and women in the Republican Party are standing against it, trying to uphold the principle of that party, too many others are transforming that party into something else. They seem no longer to want to be the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Reagan, the Bushes.
Well, whatever my other disagreements are with Republicans who support the rule of law, and not the rule of a single man, I will always seek to work together with them. To find shared solutions where possible. Because when we have a shared belief in democracy, then anything is possible. Anything.
So at this moment, we must decide: What kind of nation are we going to be?
Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? Are we going to be a nation where we allow partisan election officials to overturn the legally expressed will of the people? Are are going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation.
Remarks Delivered by Joe Biden on 6 January 2021 (transcript courtesy of WBUR):
As I said, America is about honor. Decency, respect, tolerance — that's who we are, that's who we've always been.
The certification of the Electoral College vote is supposed to be a sacred ritual. We affirm — the purpose is to affirm the majesty of American democracy. But today's reminder, a painful one, is democracy is fragile.
And to preserve it requires people of goodwill, leaders who have the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to the pursuit of power or the personal interest pursuits of their own selfish interests at any cost — but of the common good. Think what our children watching television are thinking. Think what the rest of the world is looking at.
For nearly two and a half centuries, we the people, in search of a more perfect union, have kept our eyes on that common good. America is so much better than what we've seen today.
Watching the scenes in the Capitol, I was reminded as I prepared other speeches in the past, I was reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln in his annual message to Congress, whose work has today been interrupted by chaos.
Here's what Lincoln said. He said, 'We shall nobly save or merely lose the last, best hope on Earth.'
He went on to say: 'The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just. A way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.'
The way is plain here, too. That's who we are. It's the way of democracy, of respect, of decency, of honor. And commitment as patriots to this nation.
Notwithstanding what I saw today, we're seeing today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There's never been anything we can't do, when we do it together.
And this godawful display today, let's bring it home to every Republican and Democrat and Independent in the nation, that we must step up. This is the United States of America. There's never, ever, ever, ever, ever been a thing we've tried to do that when we've done it together, we've not been able to do it.
So President Trump, step up.
God bless America. God protect our troops and all those folks at the Capitol. We're trying to preserve order. Thank you, and I'm sorry to have kept you waiting.
Joe Biden: (00:00)
Are Sorry. Not just an inconvenience, but I’m sorry for the reason we’ve delayed, I’ve delayed coming out to speak to you. I initially was going to talk about the economy, but all of you, all of you have you been watching what I’ve been watching. At this hour, our democracy is under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times, an assault the Citadel of Liberty, the Capitol itself, an assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill Police sworn to protect them, and the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic. An assault on the Rule of Law, like few times we’ve ever seen it. An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings, the doing of the people’s business.
Joe Biden: (01:22)
Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are. What we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not the dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now. I call this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward. You’ve heard me say before in different contexts, the words of a President matter, no matter how good or bad that President is. At their best, the words of a President can inspire. At their worst, they can insight.
Joe Biden: (02:27)
Therefore, I call on President Trump to go on national television now, to fulfill his oath and defend the constitution and demand an end to this siege. They storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, the floor of the United States Senate, rummaging through desks on the Capitol, on the House of Representatives, threatening the safety of duly-elected officials. It’s not protest. It’s insurrection. The world’s watching. Like so many other Americans, I am genuinely shocked and saddened that our nation, so long, the beacon of light and hope for democracy has come to such a dark moment. Through war and strife, America’s endured much and we will endure here and we will prevail again, and we’ll prevail now. The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy, of decency, honor, respect the Rule of Law, just plain, simple decency, the renewal of a politics.
Joe Biden: (03:59)
It’s about solving problems, looking out for one another, not stoking the flames of hate and chaos. As I said, America is about honor, decency, respect, tolerance. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been. The certification of the Electoral College vote, it’s supposed to be a sacred ritual, which we affirm, it’s purpose is to affirm the majesty of American democracy. But today’s reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile and to preserve it, requires people of goodwill, leaders who have the courage to stand up, who are devoted, not to the pursuit of power or their personal interests, pursuits of their own selfish interest at any cost, but at the common good. Think what, our children watching television is thinking. Think what the rest of the world is looking at. For nearly two and a half centuries, we, the people, in search of a more perfect union, have kept our eyes on that common good. America is so much better than what we’ve seen today.
Joe Biden: (05:28)
Watching the scenes from the Capitol, I was reminded as I prepared other speeches in the past, I was reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln in his Annual Message to Congress, whose work has today been interrupted by chaos. Here’s what Lincoln said. He said, “He shall nobly save or merely lose the last best hope on Earth.” He went on to say, The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just. A way, which if followed, the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.” The way is playing here too. That should we are. It’s the way of democracy, of respect, of decency, of honor and commitment as patriots to this nation. Not withstanding what I saw today, we’re seeing today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There’s never been anything we can’t do, when we do it together. This God-awful display today, is bringing it home to every Republican and Democrat and Independent in the nation, that we must step up.
Joe Biden: (07:07)
This is the United States of America. There’s never, ever, ever, ever, ever been a thing we’ve tried to do, that we’ve done it together, we’ve not been able to do it. So, President Trump, step up. May God bless America and may God protect our troops and all those folks at the Capitol who are trying to preserve order. Thank you, and I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.
Speaker 2: (07:40)
Mr. President Elect [inaudible 00:07:43].
Speaker 4: (07:40)
… what we’ve seen today.
Speaker 3: (07:44)
Are you concerned about your inauguration, Sir?
Speaker 5: (07:47)
Have you spoken to McConnell today?
Speaker 3: (07:50)
Are you concerned about your inauguration, Sir?