By MEREDITH DELISO and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Members of Congress and law enforcement gathered at the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday for a ceremony to honor Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries suffered in the violent siege on the U.S. Capitol.
“Brian was a peacekeeper” who loved his dogs, his girlfriend and his family, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the mourners, which included Sicknick’s family.
Sicknick, the “quiet rock of his unit,” was “dependable” and “never missed a radio call,” Schumer said.
“Brian wouldn’t have liked this attention,” Schumer said. “If we here he’d be the first to puncture the somber moment with his sharp sense of humor.”
“We will never forget his sacrifice,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “May we be worthy to carry Brian in our hearts.”
Sicknick’s remains were brought in an urn to the Rotunda Tuesday night so the fallen officer could lie in honor at the Capitol.
The solemn night began with visits from President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Pelosi and Schumer.
Capitol Police officers also saluted their fallen colleague.
Ahead of Wednesday’s ceremony, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff visited the Rotunda to pay their respects.
Sicknick will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
“The U.S. Congress is united in grief, gratitude and solemn appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Officer Brian Sicknick,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement announcing the ceremony details. “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.”
In a statement, the family of Sicknick thanked congressional leaders for “bestowing this historic honor on our fallen American hero.”
“We also wish to express our appreciation to the millions of people who have offered their support and sympathies during this difficult time,” the statement continued. “Knowing our personal tragedy and loss is shared by our nation brings hope for healing.”
Sicknick, 42, was the third Capitol Police officer to lie in honor at the Capitol, joining officer Jacob Chestnut and detective John Gibson, who were both killed in the line of duty in 1998.
Rev. Billy Graham most recently received the rare tribute in 2018, preceded by Rosa Parks in 2005.
Sicknick was one of five people who died as a result of the Jan. 6 siege.
Two responding officers — Metropolitan Police Department officer Jeffery Smith and Capitol Police officer Howard Liebengood — also died by suicide afterward, according to acting MPD Chief Robert Contee.
Sicknick died at a hospital on Jan. 7. Details regarding the direct causes of his injuries were unknown, his family said in a statement at the time. The U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., has since opened a federal murder investigation into his death.
Sicknick joined the Capitol Police in 2008. He previously served six years in the New Jersey Air National Guard.
The New Jersey native was deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1999 and to Kyrgyzstan in 2003, according to the New Jersey National Guard. He was honorably discharged in 2003.
He leaves behind his parents, two brothers and his girlfriend of 11 years.
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