SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A year ago all eyes were on the nation’s capital as a mob stormed the capitol building.
The attack was an effort to stop the senate from certifying the results of the 2021 presidential election. In the end that attack did nothing to change the outcome of the election, but it did forever change many people who were in Washington, DC that day.
“It’s a day we will never forget,” Brittany Thune Lindberg said.
This time last year the Sioux Falls native was living in DC with her family.
“That morning I ran around the capitol grounds, it’s what I did everyday and by the end of the day it was such a different state of affairs,” Lindberg said.
She saw protestors near the capital during her morning run but never imagined what would come next.
“We lived only a mile from the capital,” Lindberg said. “We were so close we saw some of the smoke and the things happening there.”
For many people, there was a real fear of where the mob would turn next.
“We locked all of our doors, my husband may have gotten out his shotgun, because you just didn’t know what was going to happen,” Lindberg said.
But her immediate concern was for her father, Senator John Thune.
“He was in the building, which was a little terrifying just as a daughter,” Lindberg said. “I remember he texted us that he was leaving the capital and we didn’t hear from him for a while and I was a little nervous about it.”
A feeling shared by thousands of daughters, sons and family members of the other lawmakers and capital staff members who were caught in the danger zone.
“When I was 10 years old I was on the house floor and it means a lot to me,” Lindberg said. “After so many years with your family in public service, you just have such a deep appreciation for the people that work in that building….there’s a respect for that, and it was not respected that day. So that was hard, that was hard to see.”
Seeing the assault firsthand was its own kind of trauma, but for those living in DC, the days and weeks that followed were a constant reminder.
“We used to ride our bikes, I would take my son we would ride around the capitol grounds, throw the football on the grass,” Lindberg said. “That changed dramatically after that happened. I think that was the hardest thing for me personally, just from an emotional perspective, it was barricaded after that time, and you couldn’t get near the capitol.”
Now a year later, day to day life has returned to the nation’s capital, but the January 6th attack has left a lasting impact.
“It just changed so much, the city changed so much after that,” Lindberg said.
Brittany and her family moved back to Sioux Falls shortly after the attack. She says she fully agrees with her father’s statement today about the January 6th attack–that we must do whatever it takes to make sure it never happens again.