Arlington County is taking all necessary steps to ensure public safety in the run-up to the Jan. 20, 2021 Presidential Inauguration, County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti said today.
“My colleagues and I share the concerns that so many Arlingtonians have voiced in the wake of the storming of the Capitol last Wednesday,” de Ferranti said. “We are proud of the Arlington County police officers and firefighters who helped defend the Capitol and tended to the wounded. While we are grateful that no Arlington first responders or residents were injured, we mourn the loss of life, including the death of Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was mortally injured while defending the Capitol. Our officers who defended the Capitol and democracy deserve our profound gratitude. Everyone who participated in this violent assault on our Capitol must be held accountable.”
The chief executives of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia held a joint call to discuss planning for the 59th Presidential Inauguration. The leaders discussed the need for enhanced planning and preparation compared to previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. The Mayor and the Governors agreed to urge Americans not to come into Washington, D.C. for the Inauguration and to instead participate virtually.
They issued the following statement:
“January 6, 2021 is now a seminal moment in American history. We are grateful for the courageous efforts of every law enforcement officer, Guard member, and first responder who heroically worked to secure the Capitol and ensure our nation’s democracy prevailed.
“On Jan. 20, there will be a transition of power, and we will work together, and with our partners in the federal government, to ensure the safety of the National Capital Region. Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, D.C. and to instead participate virtually.
“In this very trying time, January 6 was a dark moment for our nation. But we know that we will get through this period because American ideals are stronger than one extreme ideology. Together, we will overcome extremism.”