When the US Capitol was attacked, both U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) and U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Rockwall) were on the house floor.
“My wife was here in DC with me with our almost 2-year-old son and was about eight months pregnant, and there were several moments that day when I didn’t know if I would ever come home,” Allred told NBC 5, one year later.
“It was an unfortunate day, there is no doubt about it, I wasn’t happy with it, I wish it had never happened. I think it didn’t serve, the people that came into that building that day, it didn’t serve their interest in the least. In fact, it was counterproductive and most of the time political violence is,” said Fallon.
As the House of Representatives debated the election results, chaos broke out when the capitol was breached. Capitol police worked to secure the room and said tear gas had been deployed in the rotunda. This was Fallon’s third day in Congress.
“We had gas masks we took out, and I looked at one fellow who was I think a 16 year veteran of the chamber, and I said, ‘did you know that there were gas masks underneath there’ and he said ‘no man, I didn’t either,’” said Fallon.
“It seemed like there was going to be no way out. Fortunately, after some time, a way out was found and we were able to leave, but we were only able to do that because of the incredible bravery of the Capitol police, and they are the reason why I am able to speak with you today,” said Allred.
As the chamber was cleared, Fallon and four other veterans helped capitol police secure it, using what they could to stay safe
“I ended up having a hand sanitizer station that I ripped out and flipped it upside down,” said Fallon.
Once everyone got out of the rooms, there were still fears that their new locations could be breached as well.
“I actually took apart a stanchion that’s usually used to hold felt ropes, and I was holding it as a weapon in case somebody tried to get into that room,” said Allred.
Nobody did, and eventually, members were able to come back and vote on certification. Allred voted for certification. Fallon voted against the certification of two states. Now, a January 6 special commission is investigating, but with division surrounding it.
“I would love it if we as Americans, as Texans could agree that our democracy was attacked and that we are going to respond together, and try and use it as maybe a springboard to renewing our democracy. But clearly, that is not what’s happening right now,” said Allred.
“We have a democracy and its functioning, and I don’t think it’s in peril at all. I think its never been healthier. Granted, we have too much partisanship in DC but I think the institutions of our government here are just fine,” said Fallon.
The commission’s work continues, in a Capitol changed by what happened.