The Capitol Police officer who died on Jan. 7 after helping respond to the U.S. Capitol breach laid in honor in the building’s Rotunda late Tuesday to honor him for his service.
Sicknick’s urn and a framed American flag were placed on a pedestal as congressional leaders from both parties and dozens of officers stood in a circle in the Rotunda.
The viewing period commenced at 10:00 p.m. for members of the U.S. Capitol Police and continued overnight. Members of Congress have been invited to also attend from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Sicknick will subsequently be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, according to a statement.
Sicknick was granted the rare distinction to lie in honor about a month after he was killed defending the U.S. Capitol as rioters and some protesters breached the building on Jan. 6 as lawmakers were counting electoral votes in a joint session. The 42-year-old officer was injured on Jan. 6 while “physically engaging with protesters” after which he “returned to this division office and collapsed,” the Capitol Police said in a previous statement.
After being transported to a local hospital, he succumbed to his injuries late on Jan. 7, authorities said.
But Sicknick actually died from strokes, the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office said on April 19.
Sicknick is the fifth private citizen to lay in honor in the Rotunda, a term reserved for those who are not government officials or military officers. The other four people include United States Capitol Police officers Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson who were killed in the line of duty in 1998, evangelist Rev. Billy Graham in 2018, and civil rights leader Rosa Parks in 2005.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited the Capitol on Tuesday night to pay their respect to the officer.
“The U.S. Congress is unified in grief, gratitude and solemn appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Officer Brian Sicknick,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement on Jan. 29.
“His sacrifice reminds us every day of our obligation to our country and to the people we serve,” they added.
Shortly after his death, his family called on the public to not politicize the incident. “Please honor Brian’s life and service, and respect our privacy while we move forward in doing the same,” his father said in a statement on Jan. 9.
Howard Liebengood, a 15-year veteran of the Capitol police, also died while “off-duty” on Jan. 10 by suicide. Another officer Jeffrey Smith, who had served the Metro Police Department (MPD) for about 12 years, took his own life after the incident.
Then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 10 ordered U.S. flags across the country and abroad to be flown at half-staff until Jan. 13 in honor of the “service and sacrifice” of law enforcement, Capitol police, and Capitol Police Officers Sicknick and Liebengood.
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with new information about Sicknick’s cause of death.