WASHINGTON (AP) — Textual content of President Joe Biden’s speech Thursday marking the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as offered by the White Home:
Madam Vice President, my fellow Individuals: To state the apparent, one 12 months in the past immediately, on this sacred place, democracy was attacked — merely attacked. The need of the individuals was underneath assault. The Structure — our Structure — confronted the gravest of threats.
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Outnumbered and within the face of a brutal assault, the Capitol Police, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Division, the Nationwide Guard, and different courageous legislation enforcement officers saved the rule of legislation.
Our democracy held. We the individuals endured. And we the individuals prevailed.
For the primary time in our historical past, a president had not simply misplaced an election, he tried to forestall the peaceable switch of energy as a violent mob breached the Capitol.
However they failed. They failed.
And on at the present time of remembrance, we should be sure that such an assault by no means, by no means occurs once more.
I’m chatting with you immediately from Statuary Corridor in america Capitol. That is the place the Home of Representatives met for 50 years within the many years main as much as the Civil Warfare. That is — on this flooring is the place a younger congressman of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, sat at desk 191.
Above him — above us, over that door main into the Rotunda — is a sculpture depicting Clio, the muse of historical past. In her palms, an open ebook through which she data the occasions happening on this chamber under.
Clio stood watch over this corridor one 12 months in the past immediately, as she has for greater than 200 years. She recorded what occurred.
The actual historical past. The actual info. The actual reality. The info and the reality that Vice President Harris simply shared and that you simply and I and the entire world noticed with our personal eyes.
The Bible tells us that we will know the reality, and the reality shall make us free. We will know the reality.
Properly, right here is the God’s reality about January sixth, 2021:
Shut your eyes. Return to that day. What do you see? Rioters rampaging, waving for the primary time inside this Capitol a Accomplice flag that symbolized the trigger to destroy America, to tear us aside.
Even throughout the Civil Warfare, that by no means, ever occurred. But it surely occurred right here in 2021.
What else do you see? A mob breaking home windows, kicking in doorways, breaching the Capitol. American flags on poles getting used as weapons, as spears. Hearth extinguishers being thrown on the heads of law enforcement officials.
A crowd that professes their love for legislation enforcement assaulted these law enforcement officials, dragged them, sprayed them, stomped on them.
Over 140 law enforcement officials had been injured.
We’ve all heard the law enforcement officials who had been there that day testify to what occurred. One officer referred to as it, quote, a “medieval” battle, and that he was extra afraid that day than he was combating the warfare in Iraq.
They’ve repeatedly requested since that day: How dare anybody — anybody — diminish, belittle, or deny the hell they had been put via?
We noticed it with our personal eyes. Rioters menaced these halls, threatening the lifetime of the Speaker of the Home, actually erecting gallows to hold the vp of america of America.
However what did we not see?
We didn’t see a former president, who had simply rallied the mob to assault — sitting within the personal eating room off the Oval Workplace within the White Home, watching all of it on tv and doing nothing for hours as police had been assaulted, lives in danger, and the nation’s capital underneath siege.
This wasn’t a bunch of vacationers. This was an armed riot.
They weren’t trying to uphold the need of the individuals. They had been trying to deny the need of the individuals.
They had been trying to uphold — they weren’t trying to uphold a free and truthful election. They had been trying to overturn one.
They weren’t trying to save the reason for America. They had been trying to subvert the Structure.
This isn’t about being slowed down up to now. That is about ensuring the previous isn’t buried.
That’s the one manner ahead. That’s what nice nations do. They don’t bury the reality, they withstand it. Seems like hyperbole, however that’s the reality: They withstand it.
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We’re an awesome nation. My fellow Individuals, in life, there’s reality and, tragically, there are lies — lies conceived and unfold for revenue and energy. We should be completely clear about what’s true and what’s a lie.
And right here is the reality: The previous president of america of America has created and unfold an internet of lies in regards to the 2020 election. He’s completed so as a result of he values energy over precept, as a result of he sees his personal pursuits as extra vital than his nation’s pursuits and America’s pursuits, and since his bruised ego issues extra to him than our democracy or our Structure.
He can’t settle for he misplaced, although that’s what 93 United States senators, his personal lawyer common, his personal vp, governors and state officers in each battleground state have all stated: He misplaced.
That’s what 81 million of you probably did as you voted for a brand new manner ahead.
He has completed what no president in American historical past — the historical past of this nation — has ever, ever completed: He refused to simply accept the outcomes of an election and the need of the American individuals.
Whereas some brave women and men within the Republican Celebration are standing in opposition to it, making an attempt to uphold the ideas of that get together, too many others are remodeling that get together into one thing else. They appear now not to need to be the get together — the get together of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Reagan, the Bushes.
However no matter my different disagreements are with Republicans who help the rule of legislation and never the rule of a single man, I’ll all the time search to work along with them to search out shared options the place potential. As a result of if we’ve a shared perception in democracy, then something is feasible — something.
And so, at this second, we should resolve: What sort of nation are we going to be? Are we going to be a nation that accepts political violence as a norm? Are we going to be a nation the place we permit partisan election officers to overturn the legally expressed will of the individuals?
Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the sunshine of the reality however within the shadow of lies?
We can not permit ourselves to be that form of nation. The way in which ahead is to acknowledge the reality and to dwell by it.
The “large lie” being instructed by the previous president and lots of Republicans who worry his wrath is that the riot on this nation truly occurred on Election Day — November third, 2020.
Take into consideration that. Is that what you thought? Is that what you thought if you voted that day? Participating in an riot? Is that what you thought you had been doing? Or did you assume you had been finishing up your highest obligation as a citizen and voting?
The previous president and his supporters are attempting to rewrite historical past. They need you to see Election Day because the day of riot and the riot that occurred right here on January sixth because the true expression of the need of the individuals.
Are you able to consider a extra twisted manner to take a look at this nation — to take a look at America? I can not.
Right here’s the reality: The election of 2020 was the best demonstration of democracy within the historical past of this nation.
Extra of you voted in that election than have ever voted in all of American historical past. Over 150 million Individuals went to the polls and voted that day in a pandemic — some at nice threat to their lives. They need to be applauded, not attacked.
Proper now, in state after state, new legal guidelines are being written — to not shield the vote, however to disclaim it; not solely to suppress the vote, however to subvert it; to not strengthen or shield our democracy, however as a result of the previous president misplaced.
As a substitute of wanting on the election outcomes from 2020 and saying they want new concepts or higher concepts to win extra votes, the previous president and his supporters have determined the one manner for them to win is to suppress your vote and subvert our elections.
It’s incorrect. It’s undemocratic. And albeit, it’s un-American.
The second large lie being instructed by the previous president and his supporters is that the outcomes of the election of 2020 can’t be trusted.
The reality is that no election — no election in American historical past has been extra carefully scrutinized or extra fastidiously counted. Each authorized problem questioning the leads to each court docket on this nation that might have been made was made and was rejected — typically rejected by Republican-appointed judges, together with judges appointed by the previous president himself, from state courts to america Supreme Courtroom.
Recounts had been undertaken in state after state. Georgia — Georgia counted its outcomes 3 times, with one recount by hand. Phony partisan audits had been undertaken lengthy after the election in a number of states. None modified the outcomes. And in a few of them, the irony is the margin of victory truly grew barely.
So, let’s converse plainly about what occurred in 2020. Even earlier than the primary poll was solid, the previous president was preemptively sowing doubt in regards to the election outcomes. He constructed his lie over months. It wasn’t based mostly on any info. He was simply on the lookout for an excuse — a pretext — to cowl for the reality.
He’s not only a former president. He’s a defeated former president — defeated by a margin of over 7 million of your votes in a full and free and truthful election.
There may be merely zero proof the election outcomes had been inaccurate. Actually, in each venue the place proof needed to be produced and an oath to inform the reality needed to be taken, the previous president didn’t make his case.
Simply take into consideration this: The previous president and his supporters have by no means been capable of clarify how they settle for as correct the opposite election outcomes that occurred on November third — the elections for governor, United States
Senate, the Home of Representatives — elections through which they closed the hole within the Home.
They problem none of that. The president’s identify was first, then we went down the road — governors, senators, Home of Representatives. In some way, these outcomes had been correct on the identical poll, however the presidential race was flawed?
And on the identical poll, the identical day, solid by the identical voters. The one distinction: The previous president didn’t lose these races; he simply misplaced the one which was his personal.
Lastly, the third large lie being instructed by a former president and his supporters is that the mob who sought to impose their will via violence are the nation’s true patriots.
Is that what you thought if you appeared on the mob ransacking the Capitol, destroying property, actually defecating within the hallways, rifling via desks of senators and representatives, searching down members of congress? Patriots?
Not in my opinion.
To me, the true patriots had been the greater than 150 (million) Individuals who peacefully expressed their vote on the poll field, the election employees who protected the integrity of the vote, and the heroes who defended this Capitol.
You’ll be able to’t love your nation solely if you win. You’ll be able to’t obey the legislation solely when it’s handy. You’ll be able to’t be patriotic if you embrace and allow lies.
Those that stormed this Capitol and people who instigated and incited and people who referred to as on them to take action held a dagger on the throat of America — at American democracy.
They didn’t come right here out of patriotism or precept. They got here right here in rage — not in service of America, however somewhat in service of 1 man.
Those that incited the mob — the true plotters — who had been determined to disclaim the certification of the election and defy the need of the voters.
However their plot was foiled. Congressmen — Democrats and Republicans — stayed. Senators, representatives, workers — they completed their work the Structure demanded. They honored their oath to defend the Structure in opposition to all enemies, overseas and home.
Look, of us, now it’s as much as all of us — to “We the Individuals” — to face for the rule of legislation, to protect the flame of democracy, to maintain the promise of America alive.
That promise is in danger, focused by the forces that worth brute power over the sanctity of democracy, worry over hope, private acquire over public good. Make no mistake about it: We’re residing at an inflection level in historical past.
Each at dwelling and overseas, we’re engaged anew in a wrestle between democracy and autocracy, between the aspirations of the numerous and the greed of the few, between the individuals’s proper of self-determination and self- — the self-seeking autocrat.
From China to Russia and past, they’re betting that democracy’s days are numbered. They’ve truly instructed me democracy is simply too gradual, too slowed down by division to achieve immediately’s quickly altering, difficult world.
And so they’re betting — they’re betting America will change into extra like them and fewer like us. They’re betting that America is a spot for the autocrat, the dictator, the strongman.
I don’t imagine that. That’s not who we’re. That’s not who we’ve ever been. And that isn’t who we must always ever, ever be.
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Our Founding Fathers, as imperfect as they had been, set in movement an experiment that modified the world — actually modified the world. Right here in America, the individuals would rule, energy could be transferred peacefully — by no means on the tip of a spear or the barrel of a gun. And so they dedicated to paper an concept that couldn’t dwell as much as — they couldn’t dwell as much as however an concept that couldn’t be constrained: Sure, in America all individuals are created equal.
We reject the view that in the event you succeed, I fail; in the event you get forward, I fall behind; if I maintain you down, I in some way carry myself up.
The previous president, who lies about this election, and the mob that attacked this Capitol couldn’t be additional away from the core American values.
They need to rule or they are going to damage — damage what our nation fought for at Lexington and Harmony; at Gettysburg; at Omaha Seaside; Seneca Falls; Selma, Alabama. And what we had been combating for: the proper to vote, the proper to manipulate ourselves, the proper to find out our personal future.
And with rights come tasks: the duty to see one another as neighbors — perhaps we disagree with that neighbor, however they’re not an adversary; the duty to simply accept defeat then get again within the area and check out once more the subsequent time to make your case; the duty to see that America is an concept — an concept that requires vigilant stewardship.
As we stand right here immediately — one 12 months since January sixth, 2021 — the lies that drove the anger and insanity we noticed on this place, they haven’t abated.
So, we’ve to be agency, resolute, and unyielding in our protection of the proper to vote and to have that vote counted. Some have already made the final word sacrifice on this sacred effort.
Jill and I’ve mourned law enforcement officials on this Capitol Rotunda not as soon as however twice within the wake of January sixth: as soon as to honor Officer Brian Sicknick, who misplaced his life the day after the assault, and a second time to honor Officer Billy Evans, who misplaced his life defending this Capitol as effectively.
We take into consideration the others who misplaced their lives and had been injured and everybody residing with the trauma of that day — from these defending this Capitol to members of Congress in each events and their staffs, to reporters, cafeteria employees, custodial employees, and their households. Don’t child your self: The ache and scars from that day run deep.
I stated it many occasions and it’s no extra true or actual than once we take into consideration the occasions of January sixth: We’re in a battle for the soul of America. A battle that, by the grace of God and the goodness and gracious — and greatness of this nation, we’ll win. Imagine me, I understand how troublesome democracy is. And I’m crystal clear in regards to the threats America faces. However I additionally know that our darkest days can result in gentle and hope.
From the dying and destruction, because the vp referenced, in Pearl Harbor got here the overcome the forces of fascism. From the brutality of Bloody Sunday on the Edmund Pettus Bridge got here historic voting rights laws.
So, now allow us to step up, write the subsequent chapter in American historical past the place January sixth marks not the tip of democracy, however the starting of a renaissance of liberty and truthful play.
I didn’t search this struggle delivered to this Capitol one 12 months in the past immediately, however I cannot shrink from it both. I’ll stand on this breach. I’ll defend this nation. And I’ll permit nobody to put a dagger on the throat of our democracy.
We’ll make sure that the need of the individuals is heard; that the poll prevails, not violence; that authority on this nation will all the time be peacefully transferred.
I imagine the ability of the presidency and the aim is to unite this nation, not divide it; to carry us up, not tear us aside; to be about us — about us, not about “me.” Deep within the coronary heart of America burns a flame lit nearly 250 years in the past — of liberty, freedom, and equality.
This isn’t a land of kings or dictators or autocrats. We’re a nation of legal guidelines; of order, not chaos; of peace, not violence.
Right here in America, the individuals rule via the poll, and their will prevails. So, allow us to bear in mind: Collectively, we’re one nation, underneath God, indivisible; that immediately, tomorrow, and without end, at our greatest, we’re america of America.
God bless you all. Could God shield our troops. And will God bless those that stand watch over our democracy.