Biden hands toy back to child at service for fallen Capitol officer

President Biden on Tuesday picked up and returned a toy back to the daughter of slain Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans during a ceremony to honor Evans in the Rotunda.

Biden got up out of his seat as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke to pick up a mini Capitol dome toy and return it to Evans's daughter, prompting a moment of laughter from the family.

"A greater compliment does no one have than the president of the United States looking after your toys," Pelosi said.

Biden visited the Capitol to pay his respects to the fallen officer, who was killed earlier this month when a man rammed his car into him and another Capitol Police officer stationed at a security checkpoint along the fence lining the Senate side of the Capitol before crashing into a barricade.

The president spoke slowly and emotionally as he recounted Evans's life, and he noted he could empathize with what the family is experiencing having lost his first wife and one child in a car accident and losing his son, Beau Biden, to brain cancer.

"My prayer for all of you is that a day will come when you have that memory and you smile before you bring a tear to your eyes," Biden said. "I promise you it's going to come. It just takes awhile."

"Your son, your husband, your brother, your dad was a hero. And he's part of you," he added, addressing Evans's family directly. "It's in your blood. My prayer for you is that moment of a smile comes before the tear, quicker, then longer."

Biden walked over to the family to offer a few private words upon concluding his speech, which lasted just under 10 minutes.

Evans served in the Capitol Police force for 18 years and was the father of two children. He is the second Capitol Police officer to lie in honor this year. Congressional leaders gave the same tribute to Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died after engaging with members of the violent mob of former President Trump's supporters who breached the Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Private citizens are granted the distinction of lying in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, while military leaders and government officials lie in state. Evans will be only the sixth person in U.S. history to lay in honor, following Sicknick; Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut and detective John Gibson, who died in the line of duty from the July 1998 shooting in the Capitol; civil rights icon Rosa Parks in 2005; and the Rev. Billy Graham in 2018.

-Updated 11:53 a.m.