Memorial Day is the day we all pause to reflect, honor and thank those who sacrificed their lives to protect our democracy.
This Memorial Day we needed to light a special candle in honor of the most recent American to die in the line of duty defending our democracy: Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.
Officer Sicknick was in the front line pushing back the rioters storming the Capitol in their effort to disrupt if not stop our democratic practice of confirming the election of a new president. In doing so, they not only attacked a democratic institution, they attacked democracy itself.
Officer Sicknick, according to fellow officers who witnessed his determination to stop the insurrectionists from trespassing into the Capitol and assaulting our Congressional leaders stated that they saw him struck with a fire extinguisher and that he was pepper sprayed. The District of Columbia Medical Examiner determined that the stress and trauma of the personal attacks led to two strokes he suffered during the riot. He died the following day.
Officer Sicknick died defending our free democracy. He died protecting the foundations of what makes America great; what has long established America as the leading vessel of democracy in the world.
Memorial Day was not just a time to honor our war heroes – it was a time to honor the Brian Sicknicks of our country as well.
DAVID BARBER, Escondido
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