Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke at the Lying in Honor Congressional Tribute to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Fellow congressional leaders, Mayor Bowser, officers of the Metropolitan Police Department, the United States Capitol Police, officer Brian Sicknick's commanders.
The Book of Matthew (5:9) reminds us: “Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God.”
Today we gather to honor Officer Brian Sicknick: a New Jersey native, a National Air Guard veteran, and a twelve-year member of the Capitol Police Force.
A peacekeeper, not only in duty, but in spirit.
Talk to his colleagues, and they will tell you that Brian was a kind and humble man, with profound inner strength, the “quiet rock” of his unit.
They will tell you that Brian was dependable. Never missed a radio call.
They will tell you that he took great pride in his job—never more so than when he became a mountain bike officer on the First Responders Unit.
And they will tell you that Brian wouldn’t have liked this attention. And that if he were here, he’d be the first to puncture the somber moment with his sharp sense of humor.
Brian was a peacekeeper, who loved his dogs and his girlfriend Sandra and his family and the New Jersey Devils. He was caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time, on a day when Peace was shattered.
I had the honor of meeting Officer Sicknick’s family last night, and I learned that Gladys, his mom, had graduated from James Madison High School two years before me. And that his aunt, Brian’s aunt, had graduated a few years after me. We spent about twenty-five minutes; Brian’s mom, dad, aunt, and other relatives; just reminiscing about Brooklyn and about Brian.
And I said to them at the end, with a little bit of a lump in my throat, you are such good, kind, decent, fine people. I didn’t know Brian, but knowing you I am sure that he was exactly that way, too.
And all you have to do is look at his picture in the memorial book, the little program here, and you could see it, what a good, kind, decent man he was.
That Brian and his family were made to pay such a high price for his devoted service in the Capitol was a senseless tragedy, one that we are still grappling with.
It has left deep scars here in this building, among his friends and colleagues, as have the tragic deaths of two of Brian’s fellow officers in the days since his passing—Officer Liebengood and Officer Smith.
Let us be a comfort to all who continue to recover from injuries, seen and unseen, from the attack on January the 6th.
We have mental health counseling for officers and staff. Anyone who needs help or just someone to talk to should know that there are services available, and that we are all here for you, just as Brian was always there to take a young officer under his wing and help them get used to their new unit.
“Blessed are the peacekeepers,” like Brian. Let us be peacekeepers now, in his memory.