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Letter: Don’t fix the broken glass at the Capitol

A man takes a photo of broken windows near the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday.
Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

The USS Arizona continues to bleed oil into Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, as the battleship has done continuously since imperial Japanese torpedo bombers sunk it in 1941, pulling the United States into World War II. Military and civilian leaders have often debated whether to remove the ship or to stop the oil leak. Each time, however, they have elected to let the ship lie as is at the bottom of the harbor, a visible memorial to those who lost their lives that day — and a reminder that we are not immune from international conflict reaching our shores.

In the same light, we should not repair the glass broken by the violent mob at the entrance to the U.S. House of Representatives. Yes, we should better secure the Capitol and fix most of the damage, but we should leave part of it unrepaired. Every school group, citizen, and politician who tours the Capitol needs to see the broken glass and be reminded that peaceful democracy is not a forgone conclusion, that there are consequences to rhetoric without restraint, and that tacitly or openly encouraging violence will eventually hit home.

Daniel Nelson

Sandy