The family of a fallen military officer snubbed top Republicans in Congress Tuesday during a ceremony honoring law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 Uprising.
In a moment of apparent tension, the family of U.S. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick refused to shake hands with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy or the Senate Republican leader. Mitch McConnell accepting his medal.
CNN asks Gladys Sicknick, mother of fallen military officer Brian Sicknick, why she wasn’t at the Gold Medal Ceremony with McCarthy and McConnell handshake.
“They’re just two faces,” she told CNN. “I’m just tired of them standing there saying how great the Capitol Police are, and then they turn around … go to Mar-a-Lago and kiss his ring and come back and stand here and sit – it just, just hurts.”
While McCarthy has visited former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago several times, McConnell has been critical of Trump in the past and has refused to side with the former president over the Jan. 6 incident, condemning his actions.
McConnell was asked about it later on Tuesday. “I will respond by saying that today we honor the heroes of January 6th with gold medals. We admire and respect them. They risked their lives, which is why we award gold medals today to the heroes of January 6th.”
Congressional leaders gathered in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday to present the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest honor bestowed by Congress – to officers of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“January 6 was a day of fear and heartbreak. It was also a time of extraordinary heroism,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “In the face of deadly violence and dastardly bigotry, our law enforcement officers stood up to the breach and ensured that democracy survived that dark day.”
“So, on behalf of the United States Congress and the American people, I am honored to present the Capitol Police, the Metropolitan Police, and every hero of January 6th with the Congressional Gold Medal from every single agent who responded that day. ”
The Senate passed the legislation unanimously by voice vote, and 21 House Republicans voted against the legislation, despite broad bipartisan support for the medal in the House. The award of the medal follows a House Select Committee investigation on Jan. 6, which is expected to release its final report after an 18-month investigation into the insurgency.
Four medals will be minted — one for display at Capitol Police Headquarters, one for display at MPD Headquarters, another for display at the Capitol, and a fourth to be sent to the Smithsonian Institution.
U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger accepted the award on behalf of his officers and paid special tribute to the D.C. officers who “came to our aid that day.”
“Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for what you are doing to help our officers by joining the battle that is taking place,” Mag said.
McCarthy, who had called on former President Donald Trump to “take his share” of the violence at the Capitol but has since walked back those comments, said at the ceremony that “we are eternally grateful” to these officials for their heroism , and “Today we took an important step toward paying down our debt.”
“I hope every American sees this award and expresses gratitude to every law enforcement officer who performs their duties every day, especially the Capitol Police and the MPD,” McCarthy said.
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Conti acknowledged that for many of the officers who worked in the rotunda, the ceremony marked their first visit to the Capitol since the insurrection.
“The urgent request for the Metropolitan Police Department’s assistance in securing the United States Capitol is something you will carry with you for the rest of your careers and lives,” he told his officials. “You responded as you do every day, without hesitation, with courage and unwavering responsibility to uphold your vows.”
“You didn’t give up. You didn’t give in. Yes, you were outnumbered for sure. But you were determined, you were exhausted, you were hurt. It will show your sweat and tears that mark these areas where we are today,” Conti said . “You showed the world a glimpse of us.”
USCP Police Officer Harry Dunn, MPD Officer Daniel They were joined by Daniel Hodges and retired MPD Sergeant Michael Fanone. The four also testified before a congressional committee about the events of the day.
The legislation awarding the medal honored several officers, including Goodman, for their gallantry and honored officers who lost their lives by suicide in the days and weeks following the rebellion.
“The courage of Capitol Police Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, Metropolitan Police Officer Jeffrey Smith and those injured, and Capitol Police Eugene Goodman exemplifies the patriotism and commitment of Capitol Police and other law enforcement agencies, risking their lives for Our country in service,” the text of the bill states.
On Jan. 6, Rep. Liz Cheney lashed out at the 21 House Republicans who voted against the bill as she traveled to the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for officers defending the Capitol.
“I don’t understand how anyone with self-respect could vote against honoring the brave men and women who fought and defended the Capitol and the Constitution that day,” Cheney told CNN.
Cheney also lashed out at McCarthy for failing to denounce the former Trump’s call for an end to the Constitution and a November meeting with white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes and rapper Kanyeway at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Stuart for dinner.
“There is no doubt that at this point he is willing to give up all principles, including those that are most important to us as a country, for the sake of his own cowardly political ambitions,” she said.
Asked how she sees the Republican Party today, Cheney said she thinks they’re in a dangerous place.
“The House Republican conference is really at the mercy of people in our conference who express anti-Semitic and white supremacist views right now,” she said. “I think it’s a very dangerous thing to do. I think a real leader would reject those views and show the American people the kind of fight for principles that the party has been based on for so long.”