BOSTON (WWLP/SHNS) – As Washington, D.C. prepares for next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden while dealing with the fallout from last week’s deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, the federal government has asked Massachusetts to make “a few hundred” members of the National Guard available, Gov. Charlie Baker said.
With Inauguration Day quickly approaching, Massachusetts is lending a hand sending hundreds of National Guardsmen to Washington DC, an announcement made by the Governor Thursday.
As the clock winds down to January 20, our nation’s capitol has armed soldiers, federal agents, and police manning the perimiter to guard against a growing threat. Gov. Charlie Baker responding to a personnel report, confirming that Massachusetts would help with security efforts, local residents onboard with his decision.
“I think there was an attempt to overthrow our government,” said David Guzman of Agawam. “We need to protect our democracy at all cost. If that takes sending the National Guard to Washington DC, that’s what we have to do.”
Five hundred of the state’s National Guardsmen will be among the sea of protection, which comes as no surprise to those from the Bay State. One man told 22News he takes pride in our state’s innate ability to come together in times of need.
“We as Massachusetts are a very solid people, very united and we understand the pain of others and we provide help,” said Luis Pinto of Holyoke.
The New York Times reported Wednesday that more than 20,000 members of the National Guard are expected in the Washington metro area on Inauguration Day amid ongoing threats of demonstrations and violence from supporters of President Donald Trump.
Baker’s administration is processing the request, he said Wednesday. “We have had — and I would imagine this is true for many states, especially those on the East Coast — we’ve had an ask from Washington to support a fairly significant request for Guard personnel in our nation’s capital,” the governor said.
He said the amount of personnel being requested is “an imminently manageable number.” There were reports this week that protests were being planned from at least Jan. 16 through Jan. 20 at State Houses across the nation and at the U.S. Capitol from Jan. 17 through Jan. 20.
Baker said he had a call with state and federal law enforcement officials Wednesday morning, “And the answer here remains that there are no, at this point in time, what we would call known or credible threats in Massachusetts.”