Reader and occasional contributor Rosemary Lewallen submitted the following poem as a reaction to the recent incidents in Washington, D.C.
A Day of Infamy and Epiphany
By Rosemary Lewallen
On January 6th, 2021, Lady Liberty shed a tear.
I watched in shock, glued to the TV
as a mob of rioters stormed the Capitol Building,
desecrating this temple of democracy,
trying to shatter the tenets of our Constitution and the rule of law.
I saw rioters arrogantly posing for “selfies”
under the sacred dome of the rotunda,
a man carrying a Confederate flag with pride,
dishonoring the real flag of the United States of America,
and disrespecting the 620,000 Americans who died in the Civil War,
many fighting to rid this nation of slavery and unite our country.
I watched in horror as these domestic terrorists looted,
broke windows, and threatened duly elected members of Congress.
I felt personally violated,
like my home had been invaded, defiled and pillaged.
In a way, it had.
This attack was on “the People’s house.”
I felt sick to my stomach, disheartened, and, then, angry.
How dare these rioters call themselves, “Patriots!”
Where was their respect for American institutions
that our forefathers fought and died for?
Ironically, January 6th, 2021 was also the feast of the Epiphany,
when the three Wise Men paid homage to the baby Jesus,
a revelation of God’s love for us.
“Epiphany” also means “a moment of sudden revelation or insight.”
What insights or lessons did we learn on January 6th, 2021?
We learned that words matter.
They can inspire or incite.
We learned that lies have consequences, sometimes deadly.
The more times that a lie is repeated,
the more it is believed,
and the more dangerous it becomes.
Repeated lies have been the foundation of dictatorships for centuries.
We learned that Democracy is fragile and must be safeguarded.
We learned that our actions matter.
Standing up for truth matters.