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Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Reflects on January 6 Insurrection

  • January 6 Testimonial Screenshot

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) marked the one-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by participating in commemorative activities and serving lunch to the United States Capitol Police and Capitol staff.

She also delivered a testimonial as Members of Congress gathered to reflect on the attack one year ago today. 

Below are Congresswoman Fletcher’s remarks as delivered, which can also be viewed here

I thought I would share with you all of the many memories of the many, many acts of bravery, and heroism, and compassion during this unprecedented, and really unimaginable—before that time—attack on our democracy one year ago today. 

I thought about a moment that, for me, was perhaps the most terrifying of that day. It was the moments just before those of us who were trapped in the gallery were able to get out. It was when we were waiting for someone to open the door. We had heard the mobs outside, we'd heard the banging on the doors that we've heard about. We heard the rattling, we heard the gunshot. We didn't know all that was happening around us then. But we watched and waited as the brave Capitol Police officers who were with us in the House Gallery were trying to determine who was on the other side of the door and whether it was safe for us to get out. And at that moment, we couldn't know. 

But when they opened the doors, I was so relieved to see Capitol Police officers there. They had secured a path for us out of the Gallery to get us to safety to get us out of the chamber... To get us, we thought, out of danger. I felt a wave of relief. 

As I walked out of the Gallery, I saw immediately to my right what others have described just beyond the stair—part of our escape route—men lying spread-eagle on the floor with the Capitol Police officers' guns trained on them so that we could pass, so that we could escape. And Capitol Police officers stationed themselves along our path guiding us to safety at every turn through the stairs and the tunnels. 

And I felt a sense of relief, but also a sense of uncertainty. And I found myself trying to say cheerful, reassuring things to people around me, and one in particular. As we approached an elevator near what I learned would be our destination, one of the Capitol Police officers looked at me and very calmly, but very clearly said, "Hurry." 

It was clear to me in that moment that we were not, in fact, out of danger. And every day of this year, I have remained so grateful to the many Capitol Police officers and police officers from the Metropolitan Police Department and others who faced those dangers that day, who saved our lives that day, who saved our Capitol that day, and who saved our democracy that day. 

And I share this story now because as I thought about all of the things from that day, it is clear to me that in this moment, we are not out of danger. Our democracy is still under attack. 

And all of us, every single American, has a role to play in preserving, protecting, and defending it. And as we just heard from our distinguished historians, our history is still being written and we, all of us, as Americans, we get to write it. That is the beauty of our democracy. That is what we are celebrating and remembering and honoring and recommitting ourselves and vowing to protect today.