House Democrats, one GOP lawmaker mark Jan. 6 attack
House Democrats — and one Republican — paused for a brief but emotional ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Gathering on the House steps with the families of officers who lost their lives in connection with the riot, lawmakers honored the fallen officers as well as those injured in the lengthy battle with those who stormed the Capitol.
“The Jan. 6 insurrection shook our republic to the core. For many in the Congress and across our country, the physical, psychological, and emotional scars are still raw. Yet, from the unspeakable horror sprang extraordinary heroism. Law enforcement heroes confronted the insurrectionists to protect the Capitol, the Congress and our Constitution, and it’s with great respect and admiration that we are joined by the families this morning,” former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.
“Thank you to the families for considering us worthy to share your grief, to honor your loss.”
Family members or representatives read the names of each officer who died in connection with the riot: Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, and Metropolitan Police Officers Jeffrey Smith, Gunther Hashida, and Kyle DeFreytag.
The family of Billy Evans, a Capitol Police officer who was killed after a man rammed into Capitol barricades and drew a knife on officers, were also present, his name read aloud by his two young sons.
The remembrance was held as the majority of the GOP gathered for a call to discuss a pending twelfth vote to determine who will serve as speaker of the House.
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) appeared to be the only Republican in attendance for the Jan. 6 remembrance.
Lawmakers held a 140-second moment of silence, one second for each officer injured during the attack, the pause leaving audible tears and sniffling from elected officials as well as those in the crowd.
“We stand here today with our democracy intact because of those officers. The violent insurrectionists stormed the Capitol and attempted to halt the peaceful transfer of power, a cornerstone of our republic. They failed. They failed because of the bravery and valor of the United States Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department officers who fought heroically to defend our democracy,” incoming House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said.
“We will never forget their sacrifice and we will never forget this day.”