We have reached the first anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, incursion into the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off the Biden administration’s remarks on this anniversary by comparing it to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.
“Certain dates echo throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who have lived through them where they were and what they were doing when our democracy came under assault. Dates that occupy not only a place on our calendars, but a place in our collective memory. Dec. 7, 1941. Sept. 11, 2001. And Jan. 6, 2021,” Harris said in an address from the Capitol on Thursday.
The al-Qaida attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, killed 2,977 Americans and injured more than 6,000. That attack launched the American War on Terror which has claimed more than 7,000 American soldiers’ lives.
The number of deaths resulting from the Capitol incursion last year is still under debate, but a bipartisan Senate report counted seven deaths related to Jan. 6, The New York Times reported.
One was a heart attack, another was an accidental overdose, one was a shooting, another was a stroke. One officer died from multiple strokes after being injured, as CBS News reported. Two other officers committed suicide following the event.
Of these, medical examiners ruled three people died from natural causes, though the events of the day likely played a role in inducing their causes of death.
Harris called those who breached the Capitol “extremists” and said they tried to destroy lives and democracy.
“What the extremists who roamed these halls targeted was not only the lives of elected leaders. What they sought to degrade and destroy was not only a building, hallowed as it is,” Harris said. “What they were assaulting were the institutions, the values, the ideals that generations of Americans have marched, picketed and shed blood to establish and defend.”
There has been severe backlash to Harris’ comments, particularly to the fact that she compared Jan. 6 to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, the darkest days in the nation’s history.
Twitter users have harshly critiqued the comments, calling them “disgusting” and “ridiculous.”
The Capitol riot was a stain on our country, and all those responsible should absolutely be prosecuted. But I’m not going to entertain the obsessive delusions of neurotic #NeverTrump maniacs or their fellow Leftists by pretending a 2-hour riot was Pearl Harbor-meets-9/11… (1/)
— Christian (@ChristianCamara) January 6, 2022
Kamala harris referencing 9/11 and today being equal is disgusting.
— Chicago’s Own Dewayne Bay Bay (@DoyouknoDway) January 6, 2022
This is as bad as false valor. Those deaths of 9/11, 12/7 were reprehensible. 1/6 in comparison is ridiculous!
— Genevieve (@smariebridget) January 6, 2022
Harris closed her address on Jan. 6 by questioning whether the events of last year would go down in history as a momentous instance of decline, or the moment that made Americans decide to protect democracy.
“How will Jan. 6 come to be remembered in the years ahead? Will it be remembered as a moment that accelerated the unraveling of the oldest, greatest democracy in the world, or a moment when we decided to secure and strengthen our democracy for generations to come,” Harris said. “The America spirit is being tested.”
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