LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Thursday marks one year since the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol, a difficult day for many of Nevada's elected officials who are still struggling with the memories of what they call a “horrific day.”
"It is still emotional to this day," said Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who was in his office at the Cannon House building near the Capitol when he received the news. "This was really a horrific attack.”
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The Capitol had been breached and everyone was put under lockdown for several hours.
Horsford says this was not only an attack on our Capitol but an attack on our democracy.
"Hundreds of people affected, several lives that were lost," he said. "Members of the U.S. Capitol Police, some of whom committed suicide because of the stress, the anxiety and depression that followed.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., was walking to the Senate Chambers for a debate when she saw a Capitol policeman in pain. He had been sprayed with pepper spray.
At that point, Cortez Masto says she knew the Capitol was in danger.
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"The Capitol police came into the Senate Chambers and they said, 'We are shutting everything down, the Capitol has been breached. We want you to stay where you are, this is the safest place in the senate right now. We will keep you here unil we can move you to a more secure location,'" recalled Cortez Masto.
The uncertainty of whether the rioters had guns or weapons was Cortez Masto’s biggest concern. She says she felt her life, as well as many others, was in danger.
Cortez Masto says what happened on Jan. 1, 2021, was the insurrection of people trying to stop the peaceful transfer of the presidential election.
"It was the most horrific thing that could have happened to the Capitol, our U.S. Capitol," she said. "That is the main scene and the stronghold for our democracy in this country, that is a symbol of democracy across the world.”
Cortez Masto says we need a thorough bipartisan investigation of the insurrection to make sure those responsible are held accountable.
"Awful behavior," said Republican Rep. Mark Amodei. He was also in his office as the insurrection unfolded. "It’s an awful day for the country to have Americans basically breaking into the Capitol and running through the place.”
Amodei says what the rioters did was not the proper way to act.
"It is just how fragile our democracy is,” he said.
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Democrat Sen. Jacky Rosen admired the heroism of Capitol police as they put their lives on the line to save our Capitol. That day, some did not make it out alive.
Rosen says there is a lesson to be learned from this.
"Be civil, make the decision that we can agree to disagree, we can talk about things and we don’t have to incite violence," said Rosen. "We don’t have to hate. Try to move back to having a civil discussion.”