The media are filled with one-year retrospectives about the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021. I can’t say I’m paying much attention to them. We’ve had a firehose of coverage from the moment it happened, and appropriately so. An anniversary doesn’t add anything to what we already know, and to what we still need to know.
Will we remember Jan. 6 the way we remember Sept. 11, 2001, or the way our parents and grandparents remembered Dec. 7, 1941? Probably not, though neither will it soon be forgotten. And one of the acts of remembering is recalling what we were doing on that day.
I was hiking in the Middlesex Fells, as I often do. I took a photo of two signs on a tree because I thought they were funny: one said “Keep Out”; the other urged hikers to maintain social distancing, which seemed like an odd admonition if you weren’t supposed to be there in the first place.
I emerged from the woods around 3 p.m. and turned on the car radio. NPR was carrying audio from the “PBS NewsHour,” and Judy Woodruff was freaking out. At first I figured the Republicans were trying to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes to delay Joe Biden’s being declared the official winner of the presidential election. That, after all, had been predicted.
Within a few moments, though, I learned the truth: that a mob of rioters had descended on the Capitol, had broken inside and were rampaging through the halls of Congress. It was our first attempted coup, aided and abetted by Donald Trump, and it may not be the last.
These are dark times, and I’m not optimistic about what the next few years will bring.