Officers of the law who defended the U.S. Capitol were recognized with Congressional Gold Medals on Jan. 6, 2021, and hailed as “heroes” for preserving democracy after they repelled a vicious and bloody attack by supporters of the then-President Donald Trump.
In the elegant Capitol Rotunda, overwhelmed that day when Trump supporters stormed the corridors seeking to prevent Congress from confirming Joe Biden’s victory, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched an emotional ceremony with tensions still high.
According to Pelosi, “January 6 was a day of sorrow and heartbreak; it is also a moment of incredible heroism—staring down deadly violence and disgusting hatred.”
Pelosi commended the heroes for “courageously answering the call to preserve our democracy in one of the nation’s darkest hours” in conferring Congress’ highest honor upon them.
“We appreciate your support,” said Mitch McConnell, the head of the Senate’s Republican party.
I appreciate you rescuing our nation.
We appreciate you for being our heroes in addition to being our friends.
Representatives of one of the medal recipients—the family of deceased officer Brian Sicknick—refused to shake hands with the Republican leaders, snubbing McConnell’s extended palm, demonstrating the unfiltered political and emotional impact of the uprising and its aftermath.
The medals will be displayed in four locations to honor the hundreds of officers present at the Capitol on January 6: at U.S. The Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Capitol Police headquarters.
One will be installed at the Smithsonian museum “so that all visitors may understand what happened that day,” Biden said when he signed the legislation last year.
According to Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee, some officers visited the Capitol for the first time on Tuesday since that terrible day, which was marked by the use of metal flagpoles as weapons and “the air still thick” with chemical sprays as a crowd of Trump supporters attacked officers.
According to Contee, many of us still have physical, mental, and emotional wounds.
He added, “Your blood, sweat, and tears marked these grounds.
The medal awarded to the city’s police officers who sprung into action to support their Capitol Police partners in defending the dome that day, according to Contee, was indicative of their “contributions not only to Washington, D.C. but to the entire country on Jan. 6.”
U.S. Thomas Manger, the chief of Capitol Police, described it as “a day unlike any other in the history of our country. also for us. Chaos, bravery, and a terrible loss characterized that day.