MELROSE (CBS) — Members of the Massachusetts National Guard in Melrose prepared to deploy to Washington D.C. on Saturday. Rep. Katherine Clark spoke to the group of 80 before they headed out.

“I am so grateful for this mission and unfortunately having been in Washington when the Capitol was attacked, [I am] very aware of how critical it is that we have the National Guard there not just to defend the property but defend our democracy which hangs in the balance,” Clark told reporters after.

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“I feel very strongly that Donald Trump needed to be impeached,” she said. “It saddens me that it is necessary for these young soldiers to go to our nation’s capital to ensure the tradition of a peaceful transition of power continues.”

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Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday that he would send 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to D.C. for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

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“I think it’s incredibly important for the country that this transition be smooth and as uneventful as possible,” Baker said.

CBSBoston.com Staff