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Jan. 6, 2021: Remember this day forever

Decades from now, when students are learning about the Jan. 6, 2021, invasion of Congress while it certified Joe Biden’s Electoral College win over Donald Trump, they will need to do better than today’s leaders at learning from mistakes.

A mob of thousands including the president’s most loyal and extreme followers and anarchists broke through a police line with more ease than a thief needs to get into the video game case at Walmart in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying the 306-232 vote.

Members the Coup Clutz Clan waived Confederate flags as they surged through the doors and the halls onto the Senate floor, turning their verbal attacks on the election results into a literal one.

The cult-like mob — who are only loyal to Trump and themselves, and not the country or a political party — have dragged down our standing and the notion of democracy across the world. How can we assert ourselves with our moral imperative as the leader of the free world when we behave like a banana republic?

So far, four deaths have been reported, dozens have been arrested and our nation’s stain is so deep that it cannot be rubbed off.

Thankfully, the coup failed. President Trump finally promised an orderly transition of power Thursday morning, but while still contesting the legitimacy of Biden’s victory.

After the chaos, lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill, where several members continued to object, perhaps to satisfy the outgoing president or the mob. They could have believed they were serving their constituents — badly misled by social media, national news outlets and rumor — and that is a duty of a representative.

While some of the 538 members of Congress didn’t like the 2008, 2012 or 2016 election results, they were able to certify the winner in roughly 30 minutes. They needed more than 20 times that amount Wednesday. In other words, Democrats have done the same thing, as recently as four years ago. The grandstanding — especially after the failed coup — was not appreciated or welcomed but by only a few.

In Trump’s last message before Twitter suspended his account, the president said, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

We can agree on that last sentence.

American lawmakers need to remember forever that our democracy relies on facts. Appeasing those who don’t like the truth could result in another treasonous mob.

And it is up to all of us to tell this story accurately, especially to our children.