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Pelosi announces plans for ‘solemn observance’ of first anniversary of Jan. 6 insurrection

Tear gas is fired at Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated there will be a “full program of events” to mark the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop the confirmation of President Biden’s electoral college win, a siege that resulted in five deaths and left some 140 law enforcement officers injured.

In a letter to the Democratic caucus Monday, Pelosi (D-Calif.) noted the House would not be in session the first week of January but said some members had expressed interest in being involved in commemoration activities.

“Already, preparations are underway for a full program of events, including a discussion among historians about the narrative of that day; an opportunity for Members to share their experiences and reflections from that day; and a prayerful vigil in the evening,” Pelosi wrote.

The speaker asked Democratic members of Congress who will be in Washington on Jan. 6 to email her office to fully prepare for what she called a “solemn observance” of the day. Pelosi said all of the events will be live-streamed, so that lawmakers who are not in Washington could watch and participate from their home districts.

“As always, we will continue to work with the House Historian to establish and preserve our records in this regard,” Pelosi added.

Although the House will not be in session then, the Senate plans to return on Jan. 3, which has drawn mixed reactions from lawmakers.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) expressed trepidation about being in session for the anniversary of the attack, telling HuffPost last week that there could be additional security concerns amid fears of a repeat attack.

“I just think that day is too freighted with anxiety and anger and it would just be better if we did not have any sort of ‘anniversary’ of that day,” Collins told HuffPost.

The White House has also said it will commemorate the anniversary of the attack but has not announced specific plans.

“January 6 was one of the darkest days in our democracy,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week. “It was a day when our nation’s capital was under attack, and I think there’s no question you’ll see us commemorate that day.”

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