One year later, officials and locals react to the Capitol violence

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Thursday marks one year since the violent attack at the U.S. Capitol. A large crowd laid siege to the building last year in an effort to overturn President Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election.

Many are reflecting on the unprecedented events of the insurrection.

Every lawmaker Eyewitness News spoke with agreed that the nation has to learn from the attacks. Why and how they happened and do everything possible to make sure something like this never happens again.

Images from January 6th that many agree then and now they never could imagine could take place at the U.S. Capitol in the very heart of democracy in America if not the world.

Congressman Matt Cartwright was on the House floor that day and had to be evacuated. He says he will never forget that day and the brave Capitol police who protected lawmakers.

“I think we owe it to them to figure out exactly what happened, why it happened, and to hold the perpetrators completely accountable so this kind of socking extremist attacks on our nation’s Capitol and on our American democracy does not happen again,” stated Cartwright.

Congressman Dan Meuser who was also in the House chamber when the attackers stormed the Capitol, issued a statement on the attacks which reads in part: “Having seen the rioting inside the Capitol up close, it is clear that many were there for one reason only, to create chaos, destruction, and mayhem. Some came carrying backpacks, tactical gear, and gas masks and attempted to force down the door to the house chamber. What occurred that day must never happen again and we must take all appropriate actions to ensure it does not.”

Senator Bob Casey was on the Senate floor when the attacks raged on. He too had to evacuate. Casey says the nation should have learned a valuable lesson from that fateful day.

“I think probably the most important thing is to go forward and to be determined to pass legislation that everyone has the right to vote and there should probably consider legislation to make sure that no politician or group of politicians play around with how we count the electoral vote,” stated Casey.

Eyewitness News reached out to Republican Senator Pat Toomey for an interview or statement on the anniversary of the attacks on the Capitol. A spokesperson for the senator replied in an email that he had nothing new to offer but referred Eyewitness News to comments he made on the Senate floor the day of the attacks condemning those involved and their motivation for the attacks.

Toomey’s statement reads:

This is an absolute disgrace. I appreciate the work of the United States Capitol Police under difficult circumstances. I am currently safe as are the few members of my staff that are currently at the Capitol complex.

Senator Pat Toomey, statment on Januray 6 2021

Those in Lackawanna County Eyewitness News spoke with say they will never forget that day. They all want answers, but most importantly they say they want to see steps taken in Washington to make sure something like this never happens again.

At the very seat of American democracy, Charlene and Howard Moyer say the attacks should serve as a wake-up call that the country must come together.

“I think our country has changed I think we can certainly be united. This is a great country to live in, absolutely great country. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” Charlene Moyer.

“I think things are going to calm down. People are accepting the facts and will move on from there,” Harold Moyer.

Leo McLane from Old Forge believes one way of bringing the nation together is, “You got to get over the fact that there are two ways of thinking and get back to the Constitution. Let’s do it the way it seems our forefathers had it right.”

Political science professor Dr. David Sosar believes the aftermath of the attacks of January 6th, 2021 will be felt for some time to come.

“There are all kinds of things that are happening right now but none of it’s good because it’s splitting the U.S more and more. Democrats firmly believe they are in the right and Republicans on the other hand really really believe they’re being persecuted, so take your pick,” explained Sosar.

Dr. Sosar tells Eyewitness News he believes the divide in the country will only grow wider with mid-term elections coming this year.

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