As the home of America’s military, defense communities know the sacrifice service members and families have made for centuries to defend this nation and what it stands for. That sacrifice is personal to many and is at the core of who we are as citizens of this great country, and as leaders in our communities. Watching anyone desecrate and vandalize the U.S. Capitol, the symbol of our nation and our democracy, is very painful and deeply saddening. It is appalling criminal behavior that must be condemned without question.

In doing the work we do each day – supporting the military and military families around the country – we are defined by the idea of building a sustained partnership between the federal government and the citizens that support our national defense. We sustain a bond that is built on a commitment to our military’s mission and a trust in our government. Wednesday’s attack has shown us that we cannot assume this relationship is unbreakable. From the broken windows of the U.S. Capitol to the calls for justice by the service members, military families and military supporters who live in our communities, the idea of ‘a common good’ has been damaged and this could threaten our mission as defense communities.

As a country and as a community we need to find ways to rebuild and heal. In a few days, we will welcome a new U.S. president, and new leadership in Congress and the Pentagon. We hope this can begin a period of renewal that will flow into our communities and find ways to rebuild what we find so important – being one community in support of our nation and our military.