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President Biden and congressional leaders visited the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday night to pay tribute to Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries suffered during the Jan. 6 riot at the building that he helped defend.

Biden entered the Rotunda with first lady Jill Biden shortly after the ceremony began, where he was captured briefly placing his hand on the table displaying Sicknick’s remains before they both placed their hands over their hearts.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pay their respects to the late U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick as an urn with his cremated remains lies in honor on a black-draped table at the center of Capitol Rotunda, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Washington. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

He then said a prayer and sadly shook his head while observing a memorial wreath nearby. The appearance lasted a couple of minutes. 


The somber ceremony arrival began at 9:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and saw dozens of Capitol Police standing at attention as his urn was carried up the Capitol steps — nearly a month after a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters stormed the building.

An honor guard places an urn with the cremated remains of U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick and folded flag on a black-draped table at the center of the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Washington. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)

Also paying their respects were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, left, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, pay their respects in front of the remains of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. Photographer: Erin Schaff/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Congress is united in grief and gratitude for the sacrifice of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. His heroism helped save lives and protect our democracy,” Pelosi tweeted on Tuesday night. “Now, he lies in honor in the U.S. Capitol as we pay tribute to his patriotic service.”

Sicknick, 42, was struck in the head by a fire extinguisher while “physically engaging” with rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, authorities said. He collapsed once he returned to his division and died at the hospital from his injuries the next day. Sicknick was one of five people who died as a result of the rioting.

Pelosi and Schumer said last week that his heroism “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, they said, “reminds us every day of our obligation to our country and to the people we serve.”

A fellow law enforcement officer gets emotional as he pays his respects to late US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick as he lies in honor in the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., on February 2, 2021. (Photo by SALWAN GEORGES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sicknick, 42, of South River, N.J., enlisted in the National Guard six months after graduating high school in 1997, before he deployed to Saudi Arabia and later Kyrgyzstan. He joined the Capitol Police in 2008 and was known to lawmakers, staff and others who passed through the building’s doors each morning.

He is the fifth person to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, a designation for those who are not elected officials, judges or military leaders.


His family issued a statement through the U.S. Capitol Police on Saturday thanking Congress.

“The family of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick thanks the congressional leadership for bestowing this historic honor on our fallen American hero,” the statement said. “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.”

Members of Congress remain shaken by the riots and are grappling with what it means not only for the future of the country but for their own security as elected representatives. While lawmakers were united in denouncing the riots, and Trump’s role in them, the parties are now largely split on how to move forward.


The attack led to uncertainty, fear, and political turmoil in Congress as Biden began his presidency. House Democrats impeached former President Trump a week after the attack, sending a charge of “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate, where Republicans are unlikely to provide the votes necessary to convict him.

The building has since been cut off from the public, surrounded by large metal fences and defended by the National Guard.

Fox News’ Dom Calicchio, Danielle Wallace, and The Associated Press contributed to this report