Congressional Gold Medal awarded to police who protected the Capitol on January 6, 2021
The day was met by plenty of applause, and a moment of controversy.
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The police officers who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 are now receiving the nation’s highest honor. The day was met by plenty of applause and one controversial moment.
The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to US Capitol Police, DC Metropolitan Police, and all the first responders who protected the Capitol.
Among the crowd at the ceremony were the officers who served the day of the insurrection, despite being outnumbered by thousands.
“The sound of metal poles and other objects striking the bodies helmets, and shields may still ring loudly,” said Chief Robert Contee of D.C. Metropolitan Police. “The air still thick with bear spray and other chemicals making it difficult for our officers to see and breathe. The calls for your fellow officer to be harmed, just as loud as the day that this occurred. But there is hope because through adversity comes growth. And, we continue to grow together and deliver excellence to our community.”
D.C. Metropolitan Police were called in the day of the attack to assist Capitol Police. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said, “It was a day unlike any other in our nations history. And for us, it was a day defined by chaos, courage, tragic loss, and resolve.”
Many of the lawmakers who were rushed to safety during the attack attended the ceremony. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) were all in attendance.
“Exactly 23 months ago, our nation suffered the most staggering assault on democracy since the Civil War,” said Pelosi.
“When an unhinged mob tried to come between the Congress and our constitutional duty, the Capitol Police fought not only to defend this institution but our system of self government,” said McConnell.
The ceremony also acknowledged the officers who were injured during the attack.
“Exhausted and injured, it was your blood your sweat and your tears that marked these grounds where we stand today,” said Contee.
In addition, the ceremony recognized officers who served at the Capitol that day, who later passed away.
In one controversial moment, some of those family members and other police officers refused to shake hands with Republican leadership.
They moved past Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is campaigning to be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
That includes Gladys Sicknick, the mother of fallen officer Brian Sicknick.
He held off pro-Trump rioters and died of natural causes the day after the attack.
Gladys has called the Republican leadership quote “two-faced” and has criticized Republicans who continue to support Trump.
McConnell and McCarthy joined several Republicans in standing against the establishment of a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection.
Meanwhile, the chair that House select committee investigating the riot said Tuesday, the panel will make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, but they haven’t said who that might target.
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