Courage Under Fire The True Story Behind Jan. 6

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The world watched with fear and anxiety while rioters attacked the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. While the entire event was broadcast live on network television, cable news, and social media, most Americans still don’t truly understand what happened that day. A new book by Steven Sund called “Courage Under Fire: Under Siege and Outnumbered 58 to 1 on January 6” helps us fill in those gaps.

Steven Sund was the United States Capitol Police Chief on that fateful day. He and his force have attracted a lot of criticism for their response on Jan. 6. Politicians and pundits have accused Capitol Police of being unprepared or even complicit in the Capitol’s breach. But outside of a few isolated incidents of poor judgment and impropriety, the men and women of the Capitol Police served our nation with extreme bravery and honor. “Courage Under Fire” reveals that Chief Sund requested National Guard support for the Capitol on Jan. 3 but was rejected by the decision-making body to avoid “the optics” of having national guard troops around the capital. Sund dives into the minutiae of his fight to receive backup in preparation for Jan. 6 and how his hands were tied. Ultimately, Sund’s force was outnumbered by rioters 58 to 1 — but they still managed to prevent the Capitol breach for 80 minutes.

The day of the attack, he was further stymied getting emergency National Guard support due to internal delays from the House Sergeant at Arms and subsequently another long delay from the Pentagon. Chief Sund details these behind-the-scenes back and forth, during which Sund begged for backup but was rebuffed for hours. Through the efforts of Chief Sund, the Capitol Police received additional support from numerous other law enforcement agencies from DC, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and eventually the National guard. After what they endured, I find it remarkable these dedicated professionals were able to work together to clear rioters and secure the building in time for voting to resume just eight hours later.

Reading this book, I learned many other fascinating and disturbing details about Jan. 6. It’s not a lighthearted read, but I couldn’t recommend it more strongly. No matter how you feel about the events of that day, this book will enlighten you with insider details of how it all unfolded. I think it should be required reading for all Americans.


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