One year since the riot on the US Capitol, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, a Democrat from Delaware, remembers how quickly the focus of the day shifted as the violence erupted.
“I was in that gallery… we volunteered to go up there to witness the peaceful transfer of power, to witness the certification of this presidency,” Blunt Rochester began, before noting the inexplicable change of focus.
“When it all broke out, I just remember, [thinking] figure it out, how do we get out of here, how do you open this, how do you get around this room,” she said.
Blunt Rochester remembers ultimately feeling defenseless, having only her faith to lean on.
“By the time we made it through, all the way to the other side of the chamber, I looked down and saw the guns, and I realized I don’t have anything to protect me but God,” she said.
Growing emotional while sharing her story with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Blunt Rochester revealed that her moment of faith was shared by others even outside of Washington.
“People around the country have said to me, ‘When you got down on your knees and prayed, we got down on our knees.’ Families across the country,” she said.
Aside from the physical danger of that day, Blunt Rochester is also quick to reflect upon the political and national significance of the riot.
“We just don’t want people to forget how close we came to losing our democracy. If a number of us had died, we wouldn’t have been able to go back in and vote to certify that election,” noted the lawmaker. “That’s how serious it was.”