President Joe Biden praised law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the attack on January 6th in remarks Saturday at the National Peace Officers’ annual memorial service. The event, which also honored the 491 law enforcement officers around the country who died on the job in 2019 and 2020, took place in front of the U.S. Capitol. Flags were also flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen officers.
The President said the officers of the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington, D.C. Metropolitan police department “thwarted an unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American attack on the nation’s value and our votes” during the events that were widely streamed online and televised, much to the horror of those watching.
Hundreds of officers and their families sat on chairs assembled on the Capitol’s west front. Some in the audience dabbed their eyes as President Biden drew connections with their loss to his own history of grief, including the deaths of his first wife and two children, comparing it to “losing part of your soul.”
At event on Capitol Hill, Biden honors fallen police officers and remembers officers who defended Congress on January 6th: “because of you, democracy survived.”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 16, 2021
“Because of you, democracy survived,” President Biden said, “but only because of the women and men of the United States Capitol Police force, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan police department and other law enforcement agencies, who once again, literally put their bodies on the line to protect democracy.”
— CitizenWonk #DCStatehood 💉 (@CitizenWonk) October 16, 2021
President Biden, who was joined by First Lady Jill Biden, also underscored the heavy burden placed on law enforcement officers, and rebuked the “defund the police” political movement, saying that those gathered before him would get “more resources, not fewer, so you can do your job.”
To everyone at today’s National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service: Your loss is our nation’s loss. Your pain is our nation’s pain. May the souls of those you love — and those with whom you have served — rest in peace and rise in glory. pic.twitter.com/Ww5alp3vft
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 16, 2021
“We expect everything of you and it’s beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations,” President Biden said. “Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it’s ever been.”