I’m Kevin Counsil, Republican Chairman of Madison County. I was elected to this position to promote the Republican Party and the conservative values of our county. On Jan. 6, a group of us attended the Trump rally on the south lawn of the White House and on Freedom Plaza. My reason for going was to see this historical event for myself and to report it to the good people of Madison County and those on my social media page. I never felt unsafe at anytime while I was there, there were families with strollers, grandparents with grandkids and people of all colors and nationalities at the rally. After the rally was over we walked the 15 blocks to the US Capital building where we stood on the west lawn with thousands and thousands of others to exercise our 1st Amendment right to assemble and protest the results of the recent election. Although I will not and do not condone any of the violence that occurred, nor the individuals entering the Capitol building, our objective was to make our voices heard and to gather information regarding the event as a firsthand account. Since returning home and sharing photos and videos of the event, social media has restricted my accounts as well as restricted the President’s account. I will continue to share my firsthand account of the events that occurred near the Capitol building on Jan. 6 because I refuse to have my 1st Amendment right stripped away. Taking away the ability to speak freely typically only occurs in communist countries, but we need to be aware that, if we are not careful, our rights can be easily dismantled and taken away one by one.