House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday led a moment of silence on the House floor marking the first anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“One year ago, the Capitol and those who work within it were targeted in a violent insurrection that sought to undermine democracy,” Pelosi said in a speech before a small gathering of mostly Democratic House members. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, were also present.
Pelosi’s remarks came one year after a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building as Congress was certifying Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election.
"As we reflect on that darkest day, we remember that the insurrection sought not only to attack the building but to undermine democracy itself," Pelosi said. "But the assault did not deter us from our duty."
Five people died in connection to the attack, including Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by police as she tried to break into the House chamber, and a Capitol Police officer who died from a stroke one day after allegedly being pepper-sprayed during the riot.
More than 140 other officers were injured defending the Capitol, according to the police union. Four officers have since taken their own lives.
"Because of them, Congress was able to defeat the insurrection and return to the Capitol that same night to ensure the peaceful transfer took place," Pelosi said Thursday. “Because of them and our members, the insurrection failed.”
Pelosi then read the names of the fallen officers before leading the lawmakers in a moment of silence.
“As we acknowledge the horror of that day, we honor the heroism of so many,” she said.
The Capitol building has been the backdrop for a series of solemn events commemorating the deadly insurrection. Members of Congress, who were forced to evacuate the Capitol that day, gave harrowing testimonials about their experiences. And Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are scheduled to hold a bicameral prayer vigil on the steps of the Capitol just after sunset.
Earlier Thursday, President Biden delivered remarks from the Capitol's Statuary Hall, blaming Trump for fueling the siege with the lie that the election was stolen from him.
“His bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution,” Biden said. “He can’t accept that he lost.”