CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – One year ago, Senator Joe Manchin released the following sentence after he was evacuated from the capitol building alongside his fellow senators: “We are okay and ready to get back to the Senate chamber to finish our work. These thugs cannot and will not run us off. We will continue to govern.”

Now, one year later, West Virginia Senators Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito released statements in memory of that day.

January 6, 2021 was a terrible day in our nation’s history, and it was a dark day for our democracy. We live in the greatest country on earth that allows us to express our opinions freely, but what occurred at the Capitol a year ago today was shattering to the American conscience, and it is not who we are as a country. Since this horrific day, I have been and continue to be supportive of efforts—through my role on the Senate Rules Committee—to make sure we are instituting changes in our security and safety measures to prevent such an attack from occurring ever again. Through multiple hearings, discussions with countless on-duty Capitol Police officers, coordination with all relevant government agencies, and a review of thousands of documents, Congress has and continues to take its oversight role seriously in investigating the buildup and fallout from January 6 in a bipartisan way. One of the biggest takeaways from January 6 for me is that we will not be intimidated and bullied. We live in the best country on earth that stands for great principles. We are going to live up to these principles as a country and make sure that we protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our country.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Jan 6, 2022

Senator Joe Manchin released the following statement and anecdote.

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 fulfill 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 deFreytaglost 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.”

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jan. 6, 2022