(WASHINGTON) — As the nation approaches one year since the violent siege on the U.S. Capitol that sent shocking images worldwide of America’s democracy under attack, Democrats in Washington are planning to mark the anniversary with somber tributes from the building that was stormed.
Thursday’s events will include a moment of silence, first-hand testimonies from lawmakers, a panel discussion with historians and a prayer vigil on the Capitol steps.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are scheduled to deliver remarks to kick off the ceremonies at 9 a.m. with the president expected to highlight the “historical significance” of Jan. 6, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, and address “what it means for the country one year later.”
“The president is going to speak to the truth of what happened, not the lies that some have spread since, and the peril it has posed to the rule of law and our system of democratic governance,” Psaki said at a press briefing Tuesday.
She said Biden will take the chance to commemorate law enforcement officers who protected the Capitol and those inside.
Approximately 140 police officers were injured at the Capitol on Jan. 6 including about 80 U.S. Capitol Police and about 60 from the Metropolitan Police Department, according to the Department of Justice. At least five people died during or after the attack, including four protestors and one law enforcement officer.
“Because of their efforts, our democracy withstood an attack from a mob and the will of the more than 150 million people who voted in the presidential election was ultimately registered by Congress,” Psaki said.
On Jan. 6, ABC News Live will provide all-day coverage of events marking one year since the attack on the U.S. Capitol and the continuing fallout for American democracy.
Biden is also expected to preview the “work we still need to do to secure and strengthen our democracy and our institutions to reject hatred and lies,” Psaki added.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has unveiled a full program as well, based on member input.
“These events are intended as an observance of reflection, remembrance and recommitment, in a spirit of unity, patriotism and prayerfulness,” Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats last week.
The schedule Pelosi outlined begins at 10 a.m. with a statement from the speaker and a moment of reflection on the House floor, followed by a moment of silence in the chamber at noon. Then, Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden will moderate a “Historic Perspective” panel discussion with historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jon Meacham “to establish and preserve the narrative of January 6th.”
In the afternoon, in a large room in the Cannon Office House Building, Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., a decorated Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran who was sworn in for his second term on Jan. 6 — will lead members in sharing their experiences and reflections.
The schedule is set to conclude at 5:30 p.m. with a prayer vigil on the U.S. Capitol center steps. Members of the House and Senate were invited to observe the anniversary with prayer and music.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is expected to appear with Pelosi at the day’s events, has tied the anniversary to a push for voting rights legislation that the House passed last year but which is stalled in the Senate.
Republican leaders, meanwhile, are not expected to be at the Capitol on Thursday. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is instead planning to attend the funeral of late Sen. Johnny Isakson in Georgia. And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has repeatedly accused Democrats of politicizing the day after saying on Jan. 6, 2021, on the House floor that “President Trump bears responsibility” for the “attack on Congress by mob rioters.”
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday canceled a planned press conference from Mar-a-Lago, and House Republicans will be at home “talking to their constituents about things that actually affect them” like inflation and high gas prices, according to a House Republican leadership aide.
With more than 700 accused Capitol rioters facing charges from the Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick Garland is also scheduled to address Americans and Justice Department employees on Wednesday, the day before the anniversary, regarding how the agency is holding those responsible for the attack accountable.
Last year, speaking at the time from a podium labeled “Office of the President-Elect,” Biden called on then-President Trump to put an end to the “siege” as his supporters stormed the building.
“At this hour, our democracy’s under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself,” Biden said from Wilmington, Delaware. “This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now. I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward.”
Following pleas from allies and critics alike, Trump released a one-minute video on social media several hours after he finished speaking to supporters at the Ellipse and the attack began. “Go home,” he told the group, adding, “We love you.”
ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.