President Joe Biden paid tribute to slain police officer William Evans on Capitol Hill Tuesday, expressing sorrow with the family for their loss.
The president noted that this was the “second time in two months” to have a ceremony to honor a slain Capitol Police officer, and commented on the increased level of danger surrounding the Capitol building.
“Never has there been more strain — and I’ve been here a long time … so much strain and responsibility been placed on the shoulders of Capitol Police,” Biden said.
Evans was killed after the alleged killer, Noah Green, struck him at the Capitol Building. Green identified himself on social media as a follower of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
Biden recalled growing up with people like Evans who would act to defend the weak and keep their word.
“Mom, I didn’t know Billy, but I knew Billy,” he said and added, “He was the one who, just like the folks I grew up with, wasn’t capable of saying no when you needed him.”
Biden tried to empathize with Evans’ family, recalling his sufferings after he buried two of his children after a car accident.
“There are going to be people celebrating Billy’s life,” he said. “And as much as you appreciate it — all of you — it also is hard; you relive everything again,” he said.
Biden advised the family to keep track of their good days and bad days and understand that some days would be very difficult.
“That’s how you’re all going to know that you’re going to make it — by holding each other together, and most importantly, by holding Logan and Abigail as tightly as you can,” he said, referring to the Evans children.
Revisiting comments he made during his coronavirus address to the nation, Biden promised that someday the memory of their loved one would elicit a “smile before you bring a tear to your eyes”
“Losing a son, daughter, brother, sister, mom, dad — it’s like losing a piece of your soul,” Biden said. “But it’s buried deep, but it comes back.”
He reminded the family that Evans was a hero.
“Your son, your husband, your brother, your dad was a hero,” he said. “And he’s part of you. It’s in your blood.”