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Harriette Cole: How Jan. 6 can make you a better person

DEAR READERS: It is January 6th again, a day that felt like it was stolen from all of us.

My eldest niece was born on that day years ago, so it used to be a moment for sweet celebration in my family, the beginning of the next generation. I remember when we first got word of the attack on the United States Capitol building two years ago and my niece was fuming for all the reasons, including that her birthday would never be hers again.

I do not typically use this space to address political issues. I am addressing this now, though, because it is more than that. It is a national issue, a small-D democratic issue (not related to the political party). We came so close to the dissolution of order, structure and truth on that fateful day that it is wise for us to pause for a moment and reflect on what we value.

I always thought that the beauty of our experiment in democracy in this country is that we civilly agree to disagree. We follow the guidelines created for a peaceful transfer of power even when “our candidate” loses the election. America has served as the example of how to push past disagreements — no matter how ferocious they are — with honor and integrity. Our system has been heralded for the ways in which we work together, even when we don’t like each other.

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