WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) gave remarks on the House Floor this morning honoring two members of the Capitol police force, Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut, who lost their lives in the line of duty 10 years ago today. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Every morning when I go in to work, I pass by a plaque honoring Detective John Gibson and Officer Jacob Chestnut on the spot where they were killed, 10 years ago today. It’s a quiet hallway today: Down the hall you can hear the sounds of visitors to the Capitol, and a few feet away, the work of the Majority Leader’s Office goes on every day.
“What a shock to think that that hallway could be filled with gunshots and blood—to know that our Capitol, the most sacred place in our democracy, could be filled with violence. But what a saving grace to know that, every day, we are surrounded by brave men and women who will stand in the way of violence, even at the cost of their own lives.
“Detective Gibson and Officer Chestnut died doing just about the most worthwhile thing one human being can do for another: shielding the vulnerable—and yes, that includes every single one of us in this chamber.
“Detective Gibson and Officer Chestnut deserve every tribute they’ve been given: lying in honor under the Capitol dome; yesterday’s words dedicated to their memory; today’s moment of silence. But we know that what they did, every member of the Capitol Police—and every law enforcement officer—stands ready to do.
“We honor Detective Gibson and Officer Chestnut not because they were unique in their sacrifice, but because their willingness to sacrifice was so typical—typical of all the best in those who wear the badge.
“Edmund Burke wrote that ‘Good order is the foundation of all things.’ It is certainly the foundation of everything that happens in this building. Let us thank those men and women who risk their lives to give us order, safety, freedom from fear. And let us keep their families in our thoughts, today and every day. Without them, the work of this building—and the work of our democracy—wouldn’t last a day.”