New Jersey National Guard recalls protecting the U.S. Capitol after the January 6 attack – CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thursday marks the one year anniversary of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC on January 6th. Rioters stormed the Capitol to topple the 2020 presidential election.
It will forever be burned into the minds of lawmakers and everyone who attended that day. Eyewitness News spoke to a member of the New Jersey National Guard who says he will never forget the day.
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Like many of us, this National Guard watched the attack on television. And then he says his phone rang and he had no choice but to answer.
“Never in my wildest imagination would I have thought that we would be called to the Capitol to protect the Capitol. It’s just something you don’t think about, ”1st Sgt. Said Joseph Kern.
But that call came, and Kern and his troops answered. Eyewitness News was in Blackwood a year ago when 100 of its soldiers with the New Jersey National Guard were preparing to protect the Capitol. They would be in Washington DC for the next three weeks until President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“I’ve never been part of a previous inauguration, so I have nothing to rely on. But in my time overseas and seeing cities locked down, getting through the security layers into the mall was insane. It felt just like coming through the green zone in Baghdad, ”said Kern.
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They worked closely with the Secret Service and the Capitol Police. After the January 6th attack, their main role was to control insurgency.
To secure the inauguration, around 25,000 National Guardsmen were called to Washington.
“These officials didn’t come to work that day as Republicans or Democrats, but simply as people responsible for protecting us all,” said Chris Coons, Delaware senator.
According to the Justice Department, 725 people were arrested. They come from all 50 states. Fifty-nine of the arrests were in Pennsylvania, 22 in New Jersey, and three in Delaware.
“That was not a peaceful protest. These were crimes against our country and against the US Constitution itself, “said Mary Gay Scanlon, the Pennsylvania MP.
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Kern said the mission was accomplished because the inauguration was peaceful.