January 05, 2022

Manchin Statement on Anniversary of Capitol Insurrection

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on the one year anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“There are days in our nation’s history that we will never forget. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941 ‘a day that will live in infamy.’ On January 6,, 2021, history was made in the most horrific way and it will also be a day that will live in infamy.

“Like many people, I remember that day vividly. The Capitol was busy as Congress convened to certify the results of the Presidential Election as the Constitution requires. Members of Congress and our staffs, Capitol Police officers, journalists, custodial and hospitality staff were here and doing our work to keep our nation’s capital operating so we could fulfill our Constitutional duty.

“From the Senate floor we heard shouting outside the chamber and were quickly evacuated by selfless members of the U.S. Capitol Police. At the time, we were given no explanation and only told that we must evacuate immediately out of an abundance of caution. But from our secure location, we watched in shock as the videos and images of the men and women breeching the Capitol plastered the news. Americans across the country and people around the world did the same.

“One year later, we know without a doubt that the intent of attackers who stormed the Capitol was to prevent Congress from certifying an election for the first time in our nation’s 245-year history. Their intention was to prevent a peaceful transfer of power and to overthrow our government. The insurrectionists that day were violent, destructive and vengeful.

“But they did not succeed. The Senate resolved to return to the Senate chamber and fulfil our Constitutional duty by certifying the election results. I am proud of the way we came together – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – to get the work of the American people done.

“The Architects of the Capitol have repaired the physical damage – the windows have been replaced, the statues have been cleaned and the glass has been swept up. But the trauma of that day is still felt by many in our Capitol community. To the heroic police officers and members of the National Guard who put their lives on the line to bravely protect us: It is impossible to adequately thank you for your service.   

“U.S. Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Officers Jeffrey Smith, Gunther Hashida and Kyle deFreytag lost their lives in service to our country. We are eternally grateful for their sacrifice and our hearts go out to their families and loved ones as they continue to mourn such unimaginable losses.

“America is always at her best when we focus on what we have in common and put our country above politics. President Kennedy famously said, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.’ As we move forward, let us each look for ways to work with our fellow citizens to serve our nation.”