What Happened Wednesday, Pt. 3 - A Fan's Account
Sun., Jan. 10. 2021 7:26pm EST
Several ApologetiX fans were at the rally and contacted us to relate their experiences. One of them is a U.S. Navy veteran who wrote up this thoughts and gave us permission to share them. Here's what he said:
"I rode the VRE train (Virginia Railway Express) from Brooke Station in Stafford to L'Enfant Station. It was easy and kept me from having to car pool or use my own and worry about where to park. I joined three other Patriot amigos on the train.
"I was continuously on my feet for near 8.5 hours as I walked and stood with the crowd, with my friends, as we toured The Mall areas. Then, the four of us walked to the Ellipse on the north side of the Washington Monument. Because we had backpacks of water and snacks and spare battery power, we would never have been allowed inside the perimeter barricades where several speakers and eventually President Trump spoke. Looking back up the hill toward the Monument, it was a solid crowd of Trump rally attenders/Trump supporters as far as the eye could see. I saw no breaks in the crowd — no areas of clear grass/field; it was a solid mass of humanity.
"I met and was surrounded by very polite people, nice folks — men and women, white, black, Filipino, Chinese, Latino, old folks, young folks, kids, even babies in strollers. I stood near the ellipse with a woman who had a knee replacement in September and the other knee replaced just last month in December. Her 11-year-old daughter was there, with her left foot in a boot because she has Osgood-Schlatter disease/syndrome (bones in foot growing faster than the tendons). Her husband is an IT and cyber-security guy. They were very sweet, polite, and the little girl reminded me of my 12-year-old granddaughter —a real firecracker but sweet as pie. Super nice attitude. It was cold, the field was muddy, yet they managed to cheer and support Trump and carry on a rational conversation.
"BTW, there were MANY women and girls there. Yet there were no port-a-potties and very few food vendors. I had prepared and had all I needed, and the men were able to use the "facilities" employing the time-honored wall or tree. I felt sorry for the women. This was a set-up by the DC Mayor; she cared nothing for the people.
"Anyway, we walked to the Capitol Hill area and, beginning about 1:15 p.m. or so, my friends and I saw and heard in the distance concussion grenades (flash-bangs) smoke and what appeared to be tear gas wafting across the steps of the Capitol. People had breached the barricades. We saw people climbing the steps. As we got closer we saw Capitol Police moving left and right on the highest level, and somewhere around 2 to 2:15 p.m. we were getting news reports of people inside. Cell reception was spotty to zero — in fact, all around us were seeing what we saw — zero cell signal, and we surmised that cell towers had been either turned off or were jammed. We moved in pretty close and actually got onto the immediate grounds of the Capitol.
"About this time, I had a bad feeling of things, I began telling my compadres we should move away, and it was time anyway to think about going back to the train station to head home. We heard a lot of flash-bangs and saw a lot of smoke (ostensibly smoke grenades and tear gas). I am an experienced shooter but I never heard any clear gunshot sounds, but then again the concussion grenades make a similar sound. There were people all around us saying that there were shots fired, but we were unable to ascertain or validate that to be fact. We finally made it back to L'Enfant Station and awaited the 3:32 p.m. southbound train. It was delayed about ten minutes because of "police activity." We boarded, found nice, warm seats (we were pretty cold), and headed south. My friends got off at I believe the Fredericksburg or Spotsy Station.
"These are not ordinary friends. Two of these guys are retired USAF Special Operations Command (SOCOM) aviators who flew the AC-130 Gunship and the EC-130 electronic warfare aircraft. One is an Army War College graduate. Both are retired from working inside SOCOM after retirement. They are both now fully retired. They are married with kids and grandkids. One is a fellow Christian and long-time friend whom I have known for years (he used to live in my town), and I hadn't seen him in about ten years. He lives in another state down south. His fellow SOCOM buddy lives down south, too The other guy was his second cousin. He lives a couple hours from DC and is a non-military guy — just an ordinary patriot.
"I am retired Navy with 23 years. I enlisted out of high school, worked as a Naval aircraft electrician for several years. I got a scholarship to Auburn University, majored in Aerospace Engineering, went to Pensacola, FL for flight school. Met my wife there. After I won my wings, I was assigned to fly the F-14 Tomcat. I have two squadron tours on each coast, plus a tour as a jet instructor. I have over 600 carrier landings, 210 of those are night carrier landings, all in a variety of good conditions and very nasty, pitching-deck conditions.
"My dad was 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg, where I was born. He was a paratrooper with over 30 jumps. I have his jump logbook. His brother was wounded and captured at the Battle of the Bulge and was a German POW for months. My mom's brother spent almost two years in theater, first several months in North Africa, the rest of the time in Italy. My dad's grandfather was a Tennessee soldier in the Confederate Army, my wife's great-grandfather was a North Carolina Confederate soldier, was wounded and captured at Gettysburg and died in a Union field hospital.
"All four of us guys saw peaceful rally goers and protesters. We saw little of what was going on the Capitol steps, we knew nothing directly of what was going on inside, and we scooted out of there for the train for the earliest schedule home. Apparently all Hades broke loose as the afternoon continued. We now know that a woman, a USAF veteran, was shot inside by Capitol Police, and died later at the hospital. I know very little detail, she was not armed, I don't think she presented a viable threat, but I just don't know.
"I no longer recognize the U.S. Constitution. Our Republic may be lost. I have lost ALL respect. However, none of this took God by surprise. He sees everything, so I won't lose faith. I am sad, but we must PRAY. I mean, really PRAY!"