The scene is set in the Rotunda of the US Capitol building. Hardly a few weeks earlier, that had been the site of a riotous attempt at raucous, lawless insurrection. This moment could not be more different. The lighting is subdued. There is little to no conversation from the observers scattered about, their attention focused on the rectangular pedestal, located at the center of the Rotunda. Said pedestal holds but two items. The first of these is a flag, folded to a triangle shape in the traditional military fashion and held in a lacquered wooden frame. The other is a small, rust-red box, also apparently of wood, not very remarkable except for a notation inscribed in gold on one side.
Time passes. An honor detail of three Capitol police officers enter, approach the pedestal, where two more of their number have been standing guard at either end. With formal and respectful precision, the newcomers take the place of the previous watch, they slowly raise their hands in silent salute for a moment, before lowering their hands, and the previous detail departs, led by their supervisor. In time, more Capitol police arrive in orderly fashion, each man or woman approaching this locus, saluting, sometimes crossing themselves, their attitude one of deep respect and appreciation.
After a while, a couple arrives. They are clearly civilians, as neither wears a uniform. He is white-haired, wearing a suit with a red tie; she is a blonde, wearing a dark coat. They draw close to the stand. The man crosses himself as some of those who have gone before had, then reaches out to touch the red box for a brief moment. He and the woman cover their hearts in respect before turning to depart the site. No grand ceremonies, no words spoken. The order of the day is Silence.
Silence and appreciation for a young man who loved his work and gave his life in defense of that building and those who worked there, honored in that inscription on the side of the rust-red box:
Brian David Sicknick
30 July, 1978 – 7 January, 2021