BOSTON (CBS) – Members of the Massachusetts National Guard left out of Melrose on Saturday to head to Washington, D.C. for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday that he would send 500 members of the National Guard to the U.S. Capitol building for any civil unrest that may occur. Sen. Ed Markey, who plans to attend the inauguration, says there is definitely a threat.

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“Washington, D.C. is now an armed camp. And we thank the Massachusetts National Guard for going down to be a part of that,” said Markey.

Last week, thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. They destroyed property and five people were killed during the riots.

The National Guard will be tasked with making sure history does not repeat itself.

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Major General Gary Keefe of the Massachusetts National Guard says they are being sent to “protect both the structure and the congressmen and women.”

As for the inauguration day itself, Markey says he’s looking forward to attending the ceremony and feels it will be a safe transition of power. He knows there is a threat level not only in Washington, D.C., but in government buildings across this country and is constantly being briefed.

“We’re being assured by all those security personnel that they are doing their best to protect against a successful attack,” said Markey.

25 bus loads of servicemen and servicewomen are making the seven-hour trip to protect our democracy.

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“I thanked them here and I apologized,” said Keefe about his fellow National Guard members. “I said, ‘I’m sorry I actually have to ask you to leave our families again and head down to our nation’s Capitol because our country is so broken right now we have to defend the constitution.’”

Paul Burton