How shut our democracy got here on Jan. 6, 2021

The violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was a part of a coordinated effort to overturn the outcomes of a free and honest presidential election, orchestrated by former President Trump and his allies. The brutal assault on our democracy was a wake-up name to the extremism and disinformation these in energy weaponized towards their fellow People. These insurrectionists brutalized police and legislation enforcement officers and put our democratic system to the final word take a look at.

Fortunately, the 2021 riot failed. However, two years later, as our nation heads into a brand new Congress, the menace to our democracy stays.

On Jan. 6 we have been each within the Gallery of the Home of Representatives with fellow members of Congress, workers and journalists, witnessing what we thought can be the historic certification of the 2020 election. Historic it definitely was. 

By early afternoon, we heard reviews that armed members of Trump’s so-called Cease the Steal rally have been swarming the Capitol. We had no concept they’d quickly overwhelm the officers defending the complicated. 

By 2:09 p.m., we have been advised we couldn’t go away the constructing as a result of the perimeter had collapsed. Till this level, we had no concept the mob was violently tearing by way of the barricades and beating their well past police strains immediately into the Capitol. 

Over the following half-hour, the severity of our state of affairs turned extra clear. There was no means out and we have been trapped. 

By 2:30 p.m., we have been assembled behind the railing of the Home Gallery with gasoline masks prepared, as dozens of our colleagues have been rushed to security from the ground of the Home. We may hear the mob pounding on the doorways to the Chamber. Because the sound of a gunshot reverberated by way of the Chamber we knew the police have been attempting to carry the road. Many people made calls to our family members not realizing if we might make it out. 

Instantly, at 2:42 p.m., a courageous U.S. Capitol Police officer directed us to evacuate, shouting “GO! GO! GO!” as we scrambled throughout the Home Gallery, ducking underneath railings and dodging handed rows of seats. He risked his life to avoid wasting ours, and for that, I’ll at all times be grateful. 

The officer escorted 4 of us throughout the third-floor hallway and we ducked into an elevator. Simply 30 seconds later, the mob reached that hallway, looking for members of Congress, decided to thwart the desire of the voters and to disrupt the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election. 

Simply 30 seconds. Each time an officer pushed again on the throbbing mob of insurrectionists, our lives have been saved.

Simply 30 seconds. That’s how shut we got here that fateful day — not simply members of Congress, however the American individuals and the way forward for our democracy. 

It was the braveness and resolve of legislation enforcement officers and Capitol Police who saved our lives. They have been overwhelmed and terrorized, however they held off the violent crowd so we may finally escape from the gallery and shelter in a secure room.

It was one thousand acts of braveness that saved our lives and our democracy that day. The bravery of the US Capitol Law enforcement officials and of D.C. Metropolitan Law enforcement officials allowed us to flee safely. And, after hours of hard-fought resistance and pushing again, the constructing was secured, and we have been ready to return to the Chamber and certify the election outcomes. 

Jan. 6, 2021, was a horrific day for our nation. And, much more regarding, are the continuing efforts from members of the far-right to rewrite historical past and erase the tragedy of that day. We have been there, and we are able to guarantee you the armed insurrectionists weren’t vacationers. They weren’t peaceable observers. They have been on a mission to undermine our democracy.

Fortunately, for the previous two years, the bipartisan January sixth Choose Committee labored tirelessly to research the assault, present the American individuals the reality, and guarantee accountability. Nobody is above the legislation, and, because the committee’s work involves an finish, it’s important we don’t permit anybody to discredit the fact of what occurred that day.

We additionally need to give because of the unimaginable cops on the scene. Greater than 140 have been injured — lots of them suffered everlasting, career-ending accidents — and tragically, some misplaced their lives. Their sacrifice is not going to be in useless.

As we head into a brand new 12 months and a brand new Congress and the Home shifts to Republican management, it’s extra vital than ever that our nation remembers the horrors of Jan. 6 and the way shut we got here to a really totally different end result on Jan. 7, 2021. 

Justice and accountability don’t have any expiration date. We should proceed pushing to make sure those that perpetrated the violent assault on our nation on Jan. 6, 2021, are held chargeable for their crimes. Something much less jeopardizes our very values as a nation.

Annie Kuster, who represents New Hampshire’s 2nd District, and Jason Crow, who represents Colorado’s sixth District, have been a part of the Home Gallery Group through the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.