Friday is the second anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, when an angry mob, supporters of former president Donald Trump, sought to block the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.
A bipartisan group of members of Congress will gather on the East Front Steps of the Capitol building Friday morning to honor the officers who lost their lives or were injured as a result of the attack.
U.S. President Joe Biden is marking the day at the White House with a ceremony where he will bestow the Presidential Citizens Medal to 12 individuals, who one White House official said, “made exemplary contributions to our democracy surrounding January 6, 2021.”
The Presidential Citizens Medal recognizes U.S. citizens “who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.”
Included among the group that will receive the award Friday are a mother and daughter who were threatened for doing their jobs as election workers in Fulton County, Georgia; Capitol and Washington, D.C., police officers, lawmakers, and a former federal civil servant.
One award will be given posthumously to Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer, who lost his life protecting the country’s elected officials. He died Jan. 7. Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses paid their respects to Sicknick when he was laid in honor in the Capitol Rotunda.
Sicknick’s estate has filed a wrongful death suit against Trump, seeking $10 million in damages.
"Defendant Trump intentionally riled up the crowd and directed and encouraged a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol and attack those who opposed them," according to the estate’s court filing.
As House Republicans attempt for a fourth day Friday to choose a speaker of the House, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, "This anniversary should serve as a wakeup call to the Republican party to reject MAGA [Make America Great Again] radicalism, which has time and time again led to Republican failures. Unfortunately, the utter pandemonium wrought by House Republicans this week is just one example of how the extreme fringe of their party, led by election deniers, is pulling them further into chaos and making it impossible for them to govern."