On Thursday, President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the first anniversary of the deadly riot that took place on January 6, this day last year, in 2021. Biden spoke of the perils to democracy and said that some parts of the world were waiting for democracy to fail in the U.S. Although he did not mention Trump by name he accused him of spreading “a web of lies” about the 2020 election. The president made an impassioned appeal to both Americans as well as the world.
Speaking in the Statuary Hall in the Capitol Biden asked his people whether they would be a people who accepted “political violence” as a norm and whether the people of the nation would “allow partisan election officials” to overturn the will of the people that had been legally expressed by them.
He had scathing comments for Trump although he always referred to him as the former president and not by name. He said that it was the first time in the history of the nation that “a president not just lost the election, he tried to prevent a peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol.”
He was also referring to Trump when he spoke of how he “values power over principle.” He also mentioned that “bruised ego” mattered more to him than “our democracy.” He was also referring to Trump when he said that “He can’t accept that he lost.”
He also referred to Trump as “a defeated former president” and mentioned how Trump had sat at the White House “watching it all on television and doing nothing” while the police were being assaulted and the “Capitol was under siege.”
The president forcefully said that he would “stand in this breach” and would “defend this nation.” He said that he would “allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also addressed the nation. She said that the “American spirit is being tested.” She pushed for voting rights as many Americans believe that sympathetic lawmakers are restricting voters rights. She also called for “free and fair elections” and said that the Senate should “pass the voting rights bill.” She also said that Americans “must unite in defense of our democracy.”
Shortly after Biden finished his speech former president Trump released a statement that accused Biden of trying to “destroy the nation.” The former president who was known for his theatrics right from his reality show days, referred to Biden’s speech as “political theater” and a “distraction.”
Democrats have planned to hold a series of events on January 6 including a moment of silence on the floor of the House as well as conversations with historians. There will also be a prayer vigil. Republicans have by large not taken part in memorial ceremonies. However, Liz Cheney and Dick Cheney were seen at the House in the front row of GOP side. They have always condemned the January 6 Capitol riot.