The order went out to Capitol Hill personnel Thursday afternoon in capital letters: SHELTER IN PLACE. It was a terrifying moment for a community already on edge. The scare ended with less carnage than we have come to fear in such moments but not before we were reminded again of the dedication of those who work for the government. Maybe that reminder will bring some politicians to their senses.
As we write this, investigators are trying to sort out the series of events that apparently began when a woman tried to drive her car through a security barrier near the White House and ended with shots fired near the U.S. Capitol. What the woman, who was killed, intended, whether police responded appropriately, what lessons may be drawn about the efficacy of security barriers: All of that remains to be examined.
What seems beyond doubt is that Secret Service personnel, Capitol Police and probably many others rushed toward, not away from, danger as they are trained to do and as Americans expect them to do. Inside Congress, aides took cover, traded anxious text messages and then went on with their work.