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'An attack on the votes of the people of Georgia' | Lawmakers reflect on Jan. 6

Georgia's representatives and leaders shared their thoughts on Thursday as the nation marked one year since the insurrectionist sacking of the U.S Capitol.

ATLANTA — Georgia had a very particular experience with the events of Jan. 6, 2021. The morning began with the state's Senate runoff elections being called in favor of two Democrats, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.

It was set to mark the end of what had been a remarkably volatile election season in the Peach State. Instead, of course, the insurrectionist sacking of the U.S. Capitol just a few hours later became the enduring story of the day.

Against the backdrop, now-Senator Warnock called Jan. 6 on its one-year anniversary Thursday "not only a violent physical attack on the U.S. Capitol" but "an attack on the votes of the people of Georgia."

RELATED: Suspects from Georgia in the Capitol insurrection | Where their cases stand

Georgia, with its election results first in favor of President Joe Biden and then Warnock and Ossoff and former President Donald Trump's fixation on overturning those results, was perhaps one of the most animating factors in Jan. 6.

"This day will always serve as a reminder that our democracy, its checks and balances, peaceful transition of power, and fair elections are stronger than any angry mob," Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux tweeted Thursday.

Even in the counternarratives that emerged among the former president's most diehard supporters, it was Georgia lawmakers such as Reps. Jody Hice, Marjorie Taylor Green and Andrew Clyde, who dismissed the significance of the Capitol riots. Clyde, in particular, made headlines for likening the rioters to "tourists."

Georgia's Republican state leaders however, who were steadfast in defending the election results as Trump waged a campaign against their legitimacy, on Thursday admonished those on their side who, as Georgia House Speaker David Ralston put it, "can't accept the fact that that was completely despicable criminal behavior."

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan tweeted a "vow to hold anyone - regardless of their political stripes - accountable who tries to undermine the integrity of our democracy."

And Rep. Buddy Carter recalled the actions of Capitol Police on Jan. 6 and thanked them for the "bravery displayed" in "defending democracy" that day.

The two senior members of Georgia's congressional delegation, Democratic Reps. Sanford Bishop, Jr. and David Scott, issued statements recalling the "death and destruction at the U.S. Capitol on that infamous day," as Bishop's statement put it.

RELATED: Former President Jimmy Carter issues comments on anniversary of Jan. 6 insurrection

"One year ago, the lives of Members of Congress, the Vice President, staff, and Capitol Police were terrorized by an angry mob attempting to stop the U.S. Congress from executing its constitutional duty to affirm the results of the presidential election," Bishop said. "As we reflect on the death and destruction at the U.S. Capitol on that infamous day, we must act with resolve to learn what happened, who is responsible, and what must be done to ensure that it never happens again."

Scott called the Jan. 6 "one of the most profound tragedies in our nation's history."

"However, because of the heroism of our Capitol Police and other first responders, we showed the world that we will never be diverted from our solemn duty to the U.S. Constitution and the American people," he said.

Rep. Hank Johnson recalled being "trapped in the House gallery with some of my colleagues when the white supremacist, Trump-incited insurrection was waged on the U.S. Capitol.

"January 6, 2021 exposed America's original moral dilemma - the demon of racism and white supremacy," he tweeted.

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