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The violent actions that occurred in Washington, D.C., yesterday were such an affront to many of our organization’s central beliefs that we are compelled to provide our perspective and condemnation. As news unraveled of the assault to the U.S. Capitol Building and its inhabitants, each one of these values were also attacked.
As caretakers of history for our National Heritage Corridor, we have a deep reverence for the truth. The events of yesterday and the build up to them arising from unfounded claims of fraud emphasize a need for us as a nation to arrive at a common narrative based on facts, not emotion, not self-interest. Many elected officials from both parties spoke to this need last night. We join those voices in looking past party to protect the very democratic principles upon which the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and more importantly this very nation was founded.
It was by a bi-partisan coalition of the U.S. government that the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor was founded in 1988. It is by continued bi-partisan efforts and support that we have accomplished our critical work. And, it is only by the protection of our nation’s democratic process that we can continue this work and move forward as a nation. In the awry efforts to stop the certification of the United States Presidential Election, lawless arbitrators instilled fear in our elected officials. Among those who was stayed in the House gallery was the Lehigh Valley’s own representative, Congresswoman Susan Wild bringing matters that much closer to home. We cannot and will not be governed by fear and mob rule.
Finally, the unabashed waving of Confederate flags and the presence of neo-fascist groups confirmed the underlying white supremacy that was a conspicuous part of the attack on our Capitol Building. It only underscores the persistent, systemic issues that we sorely need to address throughout the country and, yes, in our own Corridor, that are inherently immoral and that will continue to hold us back as a nation.
Wednesday’s tragedy needs to be a wake-up call for our nation, its citizens and even on a nuclear level our community to seek and support leaders from both parties who care about the truth, respect our established laws and norms, and value equity and inclusion. Unless we change who we are in the face of this crisis, our problems will only deepen.