MEDINA, Ohio — On Jan. 6, 2021, protesters stormed the United States Capitol building as lawmakers were certifying the votes for the 2020 Presidential election. On that surreal day, five people lost their lives during or after the riots — three protesters and two police officers.
The day will forever be remembered in our nation's history.
More than 700 people have been charged for crimes committed that day - including 38 Ohioans. Three people from Northeast Ohio were charged with crimes for their involvement. In all, according to the Justice Department's website, six Ohioans have pleaded guilty to crimes and five have been sentenced.
Additional trials and sentencing hearings are supposed to begin this month for more defendants.
"I think our democracy has never felt so fragile," said. Dr. Kristen Kranz.
Today, one year later, it will be a much different scene across the country. Hundreds of people are planning to gather in seven major Ohio cities and 220 cities nationwide. They're holding candlelight vigils recognizing the events from one year ago.
"I think Medina needs to step up and show that we are a community that believes in justice for all," said Dr. Kranz.
Kranz. is a volunteer organizer for the event happening tonight in Medina's historical square. She said this non-partisan nationwide event is to bring attention to the importance of our country's democracy — no matter what side of the aisle you're on.
"Part of what were our goals are to encourage people to reach out to their representatives, especially to their senators and encourage them to pass several bills that are in Congress," she said.
But Kranz said the bigger fallout from the Capitol insurrection is the public's distrust in voting and the democratic process. Tonight is all about preventing this kind of attack from happening again -- by urging local leaders on both political sides to pass legislation that would protect the voting process.
"Change does not happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up and we've got to work and fight for those things," Kranz said.
Candlelight vigils are planned to begin at 6:30 p.m. at Cleveland's Public Square, Medina, Akron and Kent. There is also an additional vigil planned for noon in Public Square.
Those who attend are asked to wear a mask, keep six feet apart and stay home if you're not feeling well.