It was a love story turned terribly wrong. But instead of a member of the couple being at fault, the Republican Party and Donald Trump were to blame for its tragic end. Late in 2008, a licensed social worker Sandra Garza, met her future partner.
Garza met Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police Officer who fought valiantly for hours awaiting the calvary, which never came during the January 6 failed coup. The officers were grossly outnumbered as the thousands upon thousands of enraged Trump supporters attacked.
Instead of thanking each of those officers who risked their lives and literally died protecting Congress, Republicans ignored them and even denied the reality of that dreadful day. Sicknick suffered a heart attack died from a stroke the next day, The Military Times reported.
His life partner wrote an opinion piece about their relationship, the January 6 Capitol breach, and the following events for CNN. The couple met on a popular online dating site:
‘When we finally were ready to meet for our first date, he made an odd request. Meet for breakfast? I came to learn that breakfast was his favorite meal of the day, particularly blueberry pancakes.’
‘Brian was very quiet, shy almost, and had an innocence about him that was incredibly endearing. We bonded over our love of animals, our military experience, and our passion for helping others — he as an officer, me as a clinical social worker.’
On January 6, she was at work when she received a frantic call from his mother:
‘I was busy at work, so I didn’t follow the news that day. Then Brian’s mother, Gladys, called me — frantic — asking me to get in touch with him. “There is something going on at the Capitol,” she said. I assumed it was nothing serious; over our 11 years, it was not uncommon for something to be going on at his job — and Brian was always OK. I reached out and asked him to contact his mother. He did and I went back to my work.’
‘In the days after his death, I was further shocked and saddened to learn Capitol Police Officer Howard Liebengood and DC Police Officer Jeffrey Smith had died by suicide.’
‘As I watched the videos, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw officers being brutalized and beaten, and protesters defying orders to stay back from entering the Capitol. All the while, I kept thinking, “Where is the President? Why is it taking so long for the National Guard to arrive? Where is the cavalry!?”‘
‘As the months passed, my deep sadness turned to outright rage as I watched Republican members of Congress lie on TV and in remarks to reporters and constituents about what happened that day. Over and over they denied the monstrous acts committed by violent protesters.’
‘I knew it would not be comfortable or easy being in the public eye, but my desire for justice outweighed any discomfort I felt. As we went door to door to their offices several weeks ago ahead of the vote, some Republican senators were very pleasant and polite. Others were dismissive, and others could barely hide their disdain.’
‘By denying or downplaying the viciousness and trauma that occurred on January 6, members of Congress and the people who continue echoing their false narrative are engaging in a specific kind of psychological harm that is familiar to people who work in mental health. It’s known as “secondary wounding.” Secondary wounding, described by psychologist Aphrodite Matsakis, occurs when people “minimize or discount the magnitude of the event, its meaning to the victim, [or] its impact on the victim’s life.”‘
‘Make no mistake: All of the officers and people who were physically harmed, terrified, psychologically destabilized or lost loved ones due to that day are literally being re-traumatized every time someone speaks untrue words to describe what happened on January 6.’
She wrote that “the trauma continues:”
‘For those lawmakers who voted no [against a bipartisan commission], I will continue to speak out to remind them and those Americans who support them, of the horrors of that day and the trauma that continues in the minds of those that suffered in the battle in the very seat of American democracy. This not only includes the officers, but fellow senators and congressmen and women, as well as the innocent employees who were in the Capitol that day who were terrified and wondered if they, too, would make it home that day.’
‘To know that some members of Congress — along with the former President, Donald Trump, who Brian and I once supported but who can only now be viewed as the mastermind of that horrible attack — are not acknowledging Brian’s heroism that day is unforgivable and un-American.’
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.