Biden appeals for unity six months after Capitol riot
President Biden marked the six-month anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol with a call for unity, urging Americans to work with one another “on behalf of the common good to restore decency, honor, and respect for the rule of law.”
“This was not dissent. It was disorder. It posed an existential crisis and a test of whether our democracy could survive—a sad reminder that there is nothing guaranteed about our democracy,” Biden said in a statement Tuesday.
“But while it shocked and saddened the nation and the world, six months later, we can say unequivocally that democracy did prevail—and that we must all continue the work to protect and preserve it.”
“That requires people of goodwill and courage to stand up to the hate, the lies, and the extremism that led to this vicious attack, including determining what happened so that we can remember it and not bury it hoping we forget,” Biden continued. “It requires all of us working together — Democrats, Republicans, and independents — on behalf of the common good to restore decency, honor, and respect for the rule of law.”
The House has set up a select committee to investigate what happened on Jan. 6, but Senate Republicans blocked the formation of a more formal bipartisan commission.
Partisan differences over the meaning of the day have divided Congress since some Republicans voted to throw out the results of the Electoral College in certain states just hours after the mob invasion. The pro-Trump mob believed the former president had been denied reelection because of fraud, even though there has been no evidence to support that supposition.
Biden also used the anniversary to make another appeal for voting rights legislation, urging the federal government to “take the urgent steps needed to protect the fundamental right to vote.”
And Biden offered condolences to the families of Capitol Police officers who perished as a result of the violence or suffered wounds in the attack.
Biden and first lady Jill Biden paid their respects to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries sustained on Jan. 6, when he lied in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in February.
Sicknick was one of five people who died in the assault in January. The developments represented a low point in American history and eventually led the House to impeach former Trump for a second time on a charge of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol. Trump continues to falsely claim that he won the 2020 election against Biden.
Biden has regularly appealed for unity since taking office 14 days after the events at the Capitol and regularly talks about the need for the U.S. to prove that democracy can function for the American people in order to win out over the world’s autocrats.
“Together, let us demonstrate to ourselves, and to the world, the enduring strength and the limitless capacity and goodness of who we are as Americans,” the president said in the statement Tuesday.
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