Washington, Feb 2 (efe-epa).- An urn containing the ashes of a police officer who was fatally injured in the assault on the United States Capitol last month were taken to the building to lie in honor on Tuesday night.
The remains of Brian Sicknick, 42, will stay in the Capitol Rotunda, considered the heart of the building, until midday Wednesday and will then be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were among the first to visit the Capitol to pay their respects to the fallen police officer at about 10 pm.
Minutes earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accompanied Sicknick’s remains, together with his family members and police officers, from outside the building to the Rotunda.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joined Pelosi and Schumer for the ceremony.
Sicknick died on Jan. 7, a day after supporters of Donald Trump laid siege to the Capitol seeking to stop the certification of Biden’s victory in the Nov. 3 election in a bid to keep the Republican in power.
The police officer was reportedly struck in the head with a fire extinguisher, although authorities have not specified a cause of death, which is still under investigation.
“He returned to his division office and collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” the Capitol police had said in a statement.
In a joint statement last week announcing that Sicknick would lie in honor in the Capitol, Pelosi and Schumer said “the US Congress is united in grief, gratitude and solemn appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Officer Brian Sicknick.”
“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,” they added.
Four assailants also died during what has been described in the US as insurrection.
A week after the assault, the House of Representatives impeached Trump on the charge of “incitement of insurrection.”
Starting Feb. 9, Trump will therefore face his second impeachment trial in the Senate in a year.
The former president was acquitted during the first in early 2020 over allegedly pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation into the activities there of Trump’s main election rival, now-president Biden. EFE-EPA