Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday urging him to use his executive authority to recognize Jan. 6, the day an insurrectionist mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, as a “National Day of Healing.”
In the letter, the New York Democrat pointed out that the combined trauma from the 2020 presidential election, the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been left unaddressed — and designating a day can help focus efforts toward healing.
“Four years of Donald Trump was incredibly traumatic for many people,” Bowman told HuffPost. He explained that his experience as an educator and with using restorative practices in the classroom led him to propose a nationwide healing initiative.
“In less than a year since the insurrection, Republicans have already begun to rewrite the history of that painful day,” Bowman said in the letter, arguing that the GOP is trying to forget all about the attack on the Capitol. “Issuing a proclamation declaring January 6, 2022, a National Day of Healing will help ensure that no one can erase this traumatic event in our history or the need for resources that help us individually and collectively heal.”
Bowman also notes that the insurrection was born out of a pandemic of violence that existed well before COVID-19. “Considering violence as the public health crisis it is, trauma-informed cognitive behavior therapy, violence intervention and prevention programs, hospital-based violence prevention, and other innovative solutions can help communities heal,” the letter reads.
The House of Representatives plans to observe the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection with a series of events. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said members will be able to share reflections from that day and participate in a vigil.
The GOP is still attempting to distance itself from the attack on the Capitol nearly a year later. Republican members of Congress who were reportedly involved in planning the rally on Jan. 6 have denied involvement. Meanwhile, Fox News host Tucker Carlson and other right-wing media members pushed a conspiracy theory that the insurrection was a false flag event organized by the FBI.
Former President Donald Trump will mark the anniversary of the insurrection by hosting a news conference at his resort in Palm Beach, where he says he’ll bring up his baseless election fraud claims once again.