On January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell thought he was going to die when the enraged mob, mostly men, many armed came after him. Yet, his duty was to stand firm and protect our nation’s citadel of freedom and the men and women inside who make up our nation’s government.
Like a living thing, the swarm of mankind grabbed his leg and began dragging him into its seething mass. He testified before the bipartisan House January 6 Select Committee in late July, seen here on YouTube:
‘I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, “This is how I’m going to die, trampled defending this entrance.”‘
He called it “medieval battleground.” His family sustained wounds, too, he said. Officer Gonell also talked about his terrible experience on NPR:
‘They see me cry. They cry with me. They see me in pain. And they also cry because they can’t do anything for me other than try to make me feel a little bit better. This whole year has been horrific.’
The officer added:
‘A lot of the officers have in mind the possibility of this being a recurring annual or every four year thing, which is why officers like myself are being outspoken about it, because we don’t want to go through this again.’
He has been on a desk job for two months. But if called to respond on January 6 this year, he said:
‘It’s mind boggling to hear some of the things that are coming from some of these elected officials. But at the end of the day, our job is to make them safe and make their work environment safer, regardless of our opinion or political affiliation.’
The officer thought about leaving the force altogether, but instead, he made up his mind to become a lieutenant:
‘[But] every time that those metal rods hit the ground, it triggered me. It brought me back to Jan. 6. That particular sound was something I was hearing when they were breaking the barriers to use as projectiles to hit us.’
Then, there have been the Congress members who voted against certifying our President Joe Biden and continue to deny the terrible reality of that day, whether or not they really believe it:
‘We risked our lives to give them enough time to get to safety. And allegedly, some of them were in communication with some of the rioters and with some of the coordinators or in the know of what would happen. And it makes you question their motives and their loyalty for the country, as we were battling the mob in a brutal battle where I could have lost my life and my dear fellow officers, as well.’
A former mixed martial artist filmed punching a police officer during the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol received a 41-month prison sentence, the stiffest punishment yet in the almost 700 criminal cases stemming from the siege https://t.co/8GDt9aIpum pic.twitter.com/YKyANWeaOr
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 10, 2021
The officer continued:
‘Any other time in our history, this would have called for a national unity moment. Instead, we are being polarized and some people believe that what happened wasn’t that bad, [that] it was a tour. “Well, they need to come talk to me. I’ll show them my injuries. I’ll show them who I was fighting with because these people were not pacifists. These people were intent on overthrowing the government.’
This time, Officer Gonell will not await January 6’s anniversary alone. This time most American people are with him.
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads a chapter from her book of the same title. She also writes for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in process). Find her here on Facebook.