CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As we near a year since the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, Congressman Paul Tonko is speaking about his experience that day, and the efforts we can take to move forward as a nation.

“As the crowd began to get louder and louder, you realized that it was an attack,” the congressman, who represents New York’s 20th Congressional District said.

Tonko was in the gallery when rioters stormed the Capitol, “There were moments that you really feared that all of your colleagues wouldn’t make it out successfully.”

He says it’s imperative an attack like this doesn’t happen again, commending the work of the House’s Select Committee tasked with investigating the events of January 6th 2021.

Despite the dark moment in the nation’s history, Tonko says the most important part of that day was the fact that our democratic process was not undone, “While that building withstood that pressure, the more significant statement is that our democracy was not rocked. The foundation of our democracy was not rocked.”

Tonko’s 2020 opponent Liz Joy, who is also running again this year, was also in Washington, attending speeches and a rally for election integrity. Joy did not learn of the attack on the Capitol until she was boarding a bus to head back home.

As we near the one-year mark of the attack, Joy released a statement criticizing the national media for their lack of coverage of the, “one million Americans who traveled to hear the President speak on election integrity and then left peacefully,” adding, “Anyone who commits violent or destructive acts should be held accountable.”