I've only visited Washingon, D.C., twice - once as a high school student and the second time as a college student. I experienced the two visits in entirely different ways, but they were connected by a similar theme: protest.
The first visit was during the time our country grappled with marriage equality. Protestors for and against same-sex marriage congregated near the Supreme Court. The second was for President Trump's inauguration, met with protests the day of that event and the Women's March the day after. Neither time did I witness a takeover of the Capitol.
I would like to say that this is not America, but to say that is dismissive. Each of us can point at events prior to Jan. 6 that paved the way, but this should not be America. As I write this, it is being reported that the woman who was shot during the protest has passed. My condolences to her family and friends.
This is one American death that could have been prevented. More now than ever, we need a peaceful transition of power. We need to do better for the sake of our country.
North Wilkesboro, N.C.