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Biden and Congress commemorate a year since the violent insurrection

WASHINGTON (AP), - President Joe Biden marked Thursday the first anniversary the U.S. Capitol Insurrection. This violent attack by Trump supporters has fundamentally altered the Congress and raised concerns about the future.

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Biden and Congress commemorate a year since the violent insurrection

Biden arrived at the Capitol early and stated that he prayed that there would never be another day like it was a year ago.

The morning began in Statuary Hall where the president and congressional Democrats opened the meeting. This was one of many places where rioters invaded a year ago and disrupted the electoral count. Biden will draw a contrast between what actually happened and the false narratives about Capitol assault that continue to circulate, including the refusal of many Republicans to confirm that Biden won 2020. Biden plans to draw attention to the threat to democracy facing the country by those who condone or used force to subvert the will to the people.

According to excerpts from his remarks, Biden will state that "and so at this moment must decide what kinda nation we are going be." These statements were released by Biden on Thursday. Are we going to accept political violence as a normal part of our society? Is it possible for partisan election officials and the government to overthrow the will of the people? Is it possible to live in the shadow of lies, rather than the light of truth? This kind of nation is unacceptable. It is important to accept the truth and live by it.

Biden was to speak out about the "unique responsibility" that then-President Donald Trump has for the violence of January 6, 2017. He egged on protesters and waited hours before calling calm. Biden also intended to warn that Jan. 6, is an ongoing challenge to the nation’s system of governance.

While Democrats will attend a series of remembrance events throughout the day, virtually all Republicans on Capitol Hill will be absent. This division is a stark reminder about the fracture between the parties. It has worsened since Trump supporters used their flagpoles and fists to smash through Capitol windows and disrupt Biden's victory certification.

Although most congressional Republicans condemned the attack within days, many Republicans have stuck by the former president.

Rep. Liz Cheney is the chair of the House investigation into the attack and was one of few GOP lawmakers to attend the Capitol ceremonies. She warned that the threat "continues." Trump, she stated, "continues making the same claims that caused violence on January 6."

"Unfortunately, too much in my party are embracing former president, and are looking the other direction or minimizing danger," she said to NBC's Today. "That's why democracies fail." This cannot happen.

Other senators, including Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, were absent. A contingent of Georgia colleagues attended the funeral for Johnny Isakson, a former Senator.

Democrats who are investigating the insurrection will spend the next months explaining to the American people what happened on Jan. 6. Leaders will appeal to wider patriotic instincts, however.

Biden stated that he was motivated to run for the White House in 2020 after seeing Trump's remarks about some of the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. Biden warned American democracy was at risk and said that Jan. 6's attack was a stark demonstration of his fears.

Aides said that Biden would refer to his initial address two weeks ago, when he called for leaders to tell the truth about the attack.

Biden stated that truth can be found in lies. "Lies are told for power and profit. Each of us have a responsibility as citizens and Americans and as leaders, leaders who have pledged their loyalty to our Constitution and our country -- to protect the truth and defeat the lies.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also marking the anniversary with a highminded appeal. In an interview Wednesday, she told The Associated Press that democracy won that night, when Congress returned to Capitol following the riot and affirmed Biden’s victory.

Pelosi plans a moment to remember the anniversary in the House. Many House members were evacuated, while others were left trapped by the rioters trying to enter. Pelosi will also make private remarks to Hill staff, who, she said to AP, stayed to protect our democracy.

Later, Democratic leaders will host a moderated conversation with historians Doris Kearns Goodwin & Jon Meacham. A session featuring testimonials of members who were present that day will also be held. Many of the events will be streamed live, even though many legislators will not be able to attend due to COVID-19 concerns.

The Republicans' distain from Biden's message comes as lawmakers adjust to the new Capitol Hill norm -- growing tensions many fear will lead to more violence or a legitimate election being rescheduled. A few Republicans and Democrats feel a need to reach out to the public that has come to believe Trump’s lies about the election being stolen and the attack not being violent.

According to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 3 out 10 Republicans said the attack wasn't violent. Another 3 out 10 claimed it was quite violent. About two-thirds (or 9 in 10) of Americans described the attack as extremely or very violent.

Biden seems to be ready to point the finger at the former president. However, the proportion of Americans who blame Trump has increased slightly over the last year. 57% say he is responsible for what happened.

A poll by AP-NORC was conducted in the days following the attack and found that 50% of respondents said this.

The courts rejected Trump's claim of widespread election fraud and his Justice Department refuted it.

A AP investigation found that there were less than 475 instances of voter fraud in 25.5 million ballots cast in six states disputed by Trump. This is a small percentage.

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