President Joe Biden pays respects to Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pay their respects to the late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick who lies in honor in the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Sicknick died on January 7th after engaging rioters a day earlier while protecting the Capitol. Pool photo by Erin Schaff/UPI

Feb. 3 (UPI) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden paid their respects Tuesday night to slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, whose remains lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda through noon Wednesday.

Sicknick died last month from injuries sustained Jan. 6 when defending the U.S. Capitol from a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump who stormed the building in an attempt to prevent the certifying of Biden’s election win.

Sicknick’s cremated remains were delivered to the East Front of the U.S. Capitol at 9:30 p.m. as fellow Capitol Police officers lined the steps of the building and Congressional leaders, including Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stood by its doors.

Inside the rotunda, an urn containing Sicknick’s remains was placed upon a table at the center of the room by two officers along with a folded American flag, the plaque for which reads it had been flown over the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 7 to honor “the distinguished life and service of Officer Brian D. Sicknick.”

The Bidens made an unannounced visit to the Rotunda, where they stood before Sicknick’s remains with their right hands upon their hearts before the president performed the sign of the cross.

Pelosi and Schumer had announced in a joint statement last week that Sicknick would lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.

“The heroism of Officer Sicknick and the Capitol Police force during the violent insurrection against our Capitol helped save lives, defend the temple of our democracy and ensure that the Congress was not diverted from our duty to the Constitution. His sacrifice reminds us every day of our obligation to our country and to the people we serve,” the pair said. “May this ceremony and the knowledge that so many mourn with and pray for them be a comfort to Office Sicknick’s family during this sad time.”

Sicknick, who joined the police force in July 2008, died a day after the attack on the Capitol after being injured while physically engaging the rioters, the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement announcing his death.

Four other people died during the assault and two other Capitol Police officers who responded to the attack have since died by suicide.

Trump was impeached for a record second time last month on a charge of inciting the mob and is to be tried before the Senate.

Pelosi, Schumer and Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also paid their respects to the fallen officer.

A viewing period for members of the Capitol Police began at 10 p.m. and continued throughout the night. A Congressional Tribute is to be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. with a ceremonial departure scheduled for 12 p.m. before Sicknick’s interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

Sicknick is only the fifth private citizen to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.

Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, the Rev. Billy Graham, and U.S. Capitol Police Officers Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson are the only other civilians to receive the honor upon their deaths.

“The family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick thanks the Congressional leadership for bestowing this historic honor on our fallen hero,” Sicknick’s partner, Sandra Garza, and his family said in a statement. “We also wish to express our appreciation to the millions of people who have offered their support and sympathies during this difficult time. Knowing our personal tragedy and loss is shared by our nation brings hope for healing.”


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