What was it like being inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021? Kind of a blur. My colleagues and I on the congressional beat first got word that a House office building was under lockdown. Then, a couple of minutes later, we heard that the Capitol itself was going into lockdown. On the way to what would become my hiding spot, I watched as some rioters tried to smash their way through the front door on the east side of the Capitol. It was time to get behind a heavy door and keep my mouth shut.
I’ve been thinking a lot about those moments, trying to piece them all together as the one-year anniversary of the day approaches. But in going through my photos to stitch the memories into something coherent, I found that I didn’t need to. The Apple photos app had taken the initiative and done so itself, automatically creating a cute Memories video from my pictures that day.
That’s right: Scattered among other A.I.-synthesized slideshows of “Four-Legged Friends” or vacations over the years—Hawaii, how I miss you!—was that warmest of memories: “Washington, Jan. 6 2021.” Set to the cheery noodling of “Sunspots” by Bob Mould(!), the brief video captures my arrival on Capitol Hill at 11:30 a.m. and goes all the way to a window smashing at 2:19 p.m.