Democrats solemnly condemned the Jan. 6 Capitol attack on its first anniversary Thursday, warning of growing threats against democracy.
House and Senate lawmakers held a series of events to remember how supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol and attempted to stop certification of President Biden’s election victory.
“The warnings of history are clear,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat. “When democracies are in danger, it often starts with a mob. That’s what happened a year ago here in this building, a mob attack.”
The anniversary was marked with a moment of silence in the House and Senate, a panel discussion by historians, members’ recollection of the event, and an evening prayer vigil on the Capitol steps.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the nation in speeches from the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
Mr. Biden vowed that he would protect democracy and “the will of the people” while he is in office.
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“I will stand in this breach. I will defend this nation,” Mr. Biden said. “Not allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a moment of silence in the lower chamber, followed by remarks in which she thanked Capitol police officers for their service during the riot.
“That day and the days after, they were the defenders of our democracy, and their courage and their patriotism remain an inspiration,” said Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat.
Other Democrats who spoke on the riot were Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
Several House members were present for Mrs. Pelosi’s address, including Reps. Adam Schiff of California, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Pramila Jayapal of Washington.
Rep. Liz Cheney, Wyoming Republican, was the only member of the House GOP to appear with Democrats to mark the day.
Ms. Cheney was joined by her father, Dick Cheney, who served as vice president under George W. Bush. He also served in the House from 1979 to 1989 with a short stint as Republican whip.