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Congress plays baseball game in spite of shooting Wednesday

The game saw a record-breaking crowd of more than 20,000

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The game goes on.

Congressmen came together at Nationals Park Thursday night in Washington D.C. to play the annual baseball game, a tradition that went on despite the shooting at a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday in Alexandria. 

More than 20,000 people came out the park, breaking a record. It's an event that for some, signifies healing, for others, unity. But for everyone, it's a show of support for the victims of Wednesday’s shooting in Alexandria, like Representative Steve Scalise, who remains in the hospital. 

A record breaking crowd filed into Nationals Park this evening, many having just bought tickets after seeing the frightening scene of the shooting in Alexandria on the news.

"I saw the newsflash, and I said yeah, I'm going to be at the game. this is a sign of unity for everybody to come out and show their solidarity and their compassion for what happened. It's just not right," said Ed Muckerman. 

Muckerman says for him, the game is also a way to support the victims, and those the men who saved them. 

"The Capital Police, which I see out in force here tonight, did an outstanding job. Heroes, Heroes in action," said Muckerman.

Those heroes helped protect Arizona Senator, Jeff Flake, who took the field Thursday. 

"It was a heck of a shock, but I think as soon as we got off that field and went home, when the speaker announced we were going to do it, every Republican I know and every Democrat said that's the right thing to do. Everybody wants to play.," said Flake.

Virginia Representative Tom Garrett, attended the game. He says he’s faced death threats this year, and says he blames what happened Wednesday on an increase in hostile language directed at politicians. 

"What happened yesterday was nothing short of a political act of terrorism, and the United States has failed the world when we as the beacon of free and fair elections, of democracy and representative government allow the discourse to rise to a tone that this sort of thing happens," said Garrett.

Muckerman agrees, saying he hopes the unity displayed in the congressional baseball game is something that will last longer than this one night at the park.

"There's been so much acrimony and bad words spread both ways that, it's time for putting that stuff behind us and moving forward as a country to heal​," said Muckerman. 

The game also raised more than one million dollars for charity.