Rep. Paul Tonko was in the House chamber when the violent mob took aim at the U.S. Capitol last Jan. 6

He remembers the Capitol Police telling him and fellow lawmakers to grab a gas mask, before helping them evacuate.

“This was an attack on us by us,” he said. “There was that moment, perhaps several moments, where you thought, ‘are we going to make it out of here?’”

From inside the chamber, Tonko and others did not know the full extent of what was playing out outside. A massive group of supporters of then-President Donald Trump had made it into the building, disrupting the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Rep. Tom Reed watched events unfold from his congressional office across the street. He recalls hearing flash-bangs as the violent protesters surrounded the Capitol complex.

“I vividly remember having tears in my eyes that afternoon,” he said. “It was a dark day in our history and its one day I hope we never repeat.”

On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was on the Senate floor, where a police officer’s quick thinking is credited with leading rioters away from the unsecured senate door, just in the nick of time.

“The real weight of it didn’t strike me until the impeachment proceedings, because that’s when I actually got to see all the video footage,” Gillibrand said.

A year later, the ripple effects of Jan. 6 have only grown. Some lawmakers suggest the events that day only deepened and hardened the pre-existing divides on Capitol Hill.

Security protocols put in place over the past year, including new metal detectors outside the House floor, serve as a physical reminder of how the trust between lawmakers has dissolved.

“There's a level of hatred,” Reed said. “There's a level of division in Congress right now. It's been there. But it's gotten worse.”

Reed is one of only a handful of Republicans to vote with Democrats in support of an independent commission to investigate the attack, a proposal that ultimately stalled out.

He has criticized his fellow Republicans who continue to downplay the severity of what happened one year ago. Even so, he insists his part continues to uphold democratic values.

“The Republican Party is bigger than that vocal, extreme minority,” Reed said.

For Democrats like Gillibrand, the anniversary is a call to action, reinforcing, she says, the need for Congress to act on election reforms.

“These efforts not just here on Jan. 6, but efforts across this country by very radical right-wing legislatures to undermine basic voting rights need to be stopped,” she said.

But because of the filibuster, legislation protecting voting rights faces difficult odds in an evenly-split Senate.