Air Force Vet, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick to Lie in Honor at US Capitol

Brian D. Sicknick’s New Jersey Air National Guard basic training photo.
Brian D. Sicknick’s New Jersey Air National Guard basic training photo from 1997. (U.S. Air Force)

The top leaders in the House and Senate have given approval for the U.S. Capitol Police officer who sustained fatal injuries during the siege at the Capitol earlier this month to lie in the Capitol rotunda as an honor to his service.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Friday that Brian D. Sicknick, a former member of the New Jersey Air National Guard, will lie in honor in the Capitol, a rare recognition typically reserved for members of the federal government who have served their country with distinction.

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Officials will hold a ceremonial arrival at 9:30 p.m. next Tuesday on the east front entrance of the Capitol, the announcement said.

"A viewing period will commence at 10:00 p.m. for members of the U.S. Capitol Police and continue overnight. Members of Congress are invited to attend the viewing period from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 3rd," it said.

Sicknick will lie in honor, rather than in state, in the Capitol rotunda, because he is a private citizen. Members of the public will be able to pay their respects during this period.

Others who have lain in honor in the rotunda include Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks. Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson, both Capitol Police, were the first law enforcement members to lie in honor in the rotunda in 1998. Chestnut, also an Air Force veteran, and Gibson were killed in the line of duty when a gunman entered the building and opened fire.

"The U.S. Congress is united in grief, gratitude and solemn appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Officer Brian Sicknick," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. "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.

"On behalf of the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is our great privilege to pay tribute to Officer Sicknick with this lying-in-honor ceremony; may this ceremony and the knowledge that so many mourn with and pray for them be a comfort to Officer Sicknick's family during this sad time."

Sicknick enlisted in the New Jersey Air National Guard in 1997 and served for six years, spokeswoman Lt. Col. Barbara Brown told Jan. 8.

Sicknick's duties included serving as a fire team member and leader with the 108th Security Force Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Brown said. He deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1999 as part of Operation Southern Watch and to Kyrgyzstan in 2003 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He was honorably discharged in 2003 as a staff sergeant, she said. The Daily Beast first reported Sicknick's Guard affiliation.

"Staff Sgt Sicknick's commitment to serve and protect his community, state and nation will never be forgotten," Brown said. "Our condolences and thoughts are with his family, friends and those who worked with him during his law enforcement career."

The week of the Jan. 6 insurrection, Pelosi ordered Capitol flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Sicknick. His death is under investigation.

At least 120 people have been arrested following the siege. Five people were killed that day, or, like Sicknick, died as a result of injuries that week.

Two other police officers have died by suicide this month.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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