U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today paid tribute to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died as a result of injuries sustained protecting the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Excerpt of Thune’s remarks:
“Mr. President, a few minutes ago I had the opportunity to pay my respects to U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who lies in honor right now in the Capitol Rotunda.
“By all accounts, Brian Sicknick decided early on that he wanted to be a police officer.
“He joined the National Guard as a way to achieve this, serving our country for six years before finally joining the Capitol Police in 2008.
“And on January 6, 2021, he joined his fellow police officers to defend the Capitol from invasion by a violent mob.
“He was attacked by the invaders, pepper-sprayed twice, and, reportedly, hit in the head with a fire extinguisher.
“He later collapsed at his office as a result of his injuries and was transported to the hospital, where he died the next day.
“Mr. President, while reading accounts of Officer Sicknick’s death, I was particularly struck by reports that he returned to his division office after the day he had had.
“A lot of us, after having been pepper-sprayed twice and hit in the head, would probably have made a beeline for the hospital or for home.
“Even if, like Officer Sicknick, we weren’t aware of just how badly we’d been injured, I’m not sure we would have returned to the office.
“But Officer Sicknick did.
“His family noted that Officer Sicknick had, and I quote, ‘an incredible work ethic. He was very serious about showing up to work on time and refused to call out sick unless absolutely necessary.’
“We saw that dedication on January 6.
“His first thought was not of his injuries, but of the job he was committed to.
“Mr. President, we are the beneficiaries of the service and dedication of men and women like Brian Sicknick.
“Men and women who get up every day not knowing what they will face, but willing to sacrifice – up to and including their very lives – to protect those who need protecting.
“Mr. President, in the gospel of John Jesus tells his disciples, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’
“All of us marvel, and are moved, when we hear stories of those who have laid down their lives to protect others:
“The soldier who jumps on a grenade to save his buddies. The mother who leaps in front of her child to protect her. The firefighter who dies trying to rescue someone from a burning house.
“But Officer Sicknick’s story hits particularly sharply, because Office Sicknick laid down his life for us.
“He died for us.
“He died for me.
“For every senator in this chamber, and for every representative.
“For every staff member.
“For every cafeteria worker and maintenance worker and administrative worker in the Capitol complex.
“We were in danger, and he stepped forward to protect us.
“And he died for us.
“‘Greater love hath no man than this.’
“Mr. President, there is no repaying such a sacrifice.
“There is no earning it.
“We can only honor it.
“And try to live our lives in such a way as to be worthy of it.
“Mr. President, Officer Brian Sicknick died as he lived, defending the United States Capitol and all those within it.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Sicknick’s family and with all those who loved him, as they mourn the life of this brave man.”