Apr 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden eulogizes fallen Capitol officer Billy Evans as he lies in honor

Slain U.S. Capitol Police officer Billy Evans lay in honor in the Capitol on Tuesday, drawing mourners that included his family, his fellow officers, members of Congress and President Biden.

Why it matters: Evans is the second USCP officer this year to lie in honor at the Capitol. Evans died in a vehicular attack on the Capitol on April 2, and his colleague, officer Brian Sicknick, died the day after the Jan. 6 pro-Trump siege of the Capitol.

  • Evans served on the Capitol Police force for 18 years. He is survived by his wife and two children, who were in attendance on Tuesday.

The state of play: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Biden all delivered eulogies on Tuesday.

Schumer said to Evans' children, "I want you to know that we are forever indebted to your dad. We will remember his sacrifice and your sacrifice, forever."

  • "To Billy's friends on the Capitol Police force, these past few months have been devastating. ... There is no shame in grief and sorrow and shock. We grieve with you," he added.

Pelosi said at the service: "[Evans] represented the best of public service, selflessness, sacrifice, and sheer courage in the face of the threat to our nation. ... He became a martyr for our democracy."

Biden, who has lost two of his own children and his first wife, spent most of his speech turned away from the lectern, opting to face the Evans family directly.

  • "There are going to be people celebrating Billy's life, and as much as you appreciate it, all of you, it also is hard. You relive everything again. ... But you're going to make it," the president said.
  • "He is still with you. He is still in your heart. Losing a son, daughter, brother, sister, mom, dad — it is like losing a piece of your soul. It's buried deep, but it comes back."

After speaking, Biden knelt down and handed a presidential challenge coin to Evans' young son, Logan.

In photos
Capitol Police await Evans' arrival. Photo: Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images
Capitol Police await the arrival of Evans' casket. Photo: Shawn Thew/Pool/Getty Images
Evans' casket being carried up the Capitol steps. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Evans' casket being carried up the Capitol steps. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Officers salute Evans' casket as it's carried into the Capitol Rotunda. Photo: Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Images
Officers salute Evans' casket as it's carried into the Capitol rotunda. Photo: Amr Alfiky/Pool/Getty Images
Biden looks on at Evans' family. Photo: Amr Alfiky-Pool/Getty Image
Biden looks on at Evans' family. Photo: Amr Alfiky/Pool/Getty Images
Biden giving a coin to child of fallen Capitol police officer
Biden gives a coin to Billy Evans' son, Logan. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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