I handed out 60 roses to DC cops on January 6 anniversary as a thank you for protecting Capitol

AN elderly man walked around the Capitol to hand out roses to every law enforcement officer he saw to show his appreciation.

Richard, who didn't feel comfortable giving his last name and said his age is "Betty White-like," carried a box of about 60 roses and placed them in strategic places around the building, and personally delivered one to every officer he met.


"It's about showing appreciation for what they had to go through," Richard told The Sun in an exclusive interview on the Capitol grounds. "Their stories are so heartbreaking. I wanted to say thank you."

Richard carried the roses in a cardboard box with multiple newspapers with flashbacks of January 6, 20221.

His roses were spotted in the hands of officers on foot, bike, and motorcycle as they guarded the Capitol against any potential repeat threats of January 6, 2021, when rioters besieged the building.

"I wanted to do a tribute and thank them," Richard told The Sun. "This is our democracy and they protected it from these crazies. I hope it never happens again."

About two-thirds of the roses were given out by the time he spoke to The Sun. He walked to the East side of the Capitol and handed them to officers standing guard.

There were officers standing behind metal barriers every 100 feet or so around the entire building.

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"This is our democracy and they protected it from these crazies," Richard said. "I hope it never happens again."

The sentiment carried over with people passing by through the Capitol and remembering the significance of this day.

Read our January 6 live blog for the very latest news and updates…

"For months after January 6, we couldn't walk around here," said Elizabeth Nelson, who was walking her dog at the east end of the Capitol.

"We were curious to see what's going on today. I wasn't worried [today]. There's been no indication that there was a threat, and I like to think we're better protected today," she said, adding that she lives a block from the Capitol.

"It's not a hoax. I live here. I saw it. I heard it. It happened," she added.

Theresa Becchi, who was taking a walk and similarly lives a block east of the Capitol, said being at the site a year later leaves an odd feeling.

"This happened in my backyard. It's so surreal to be back here a year later. I still don't feel like I have my head around it," Becchi said.

"There were gates blocking the neighborhood for blocks after the insurrection and high concrete barriers."

"As a resident, it was scary and still is to a point. There are homes here. There are businesses. There are families with children," she said.

"We are a community. We heard the sirens. I know when things are happening. It was real and terrifying. I don't know how anyone can deny it."

'MOB MENTALITY'

Dana Gillespie called the area a "sacred" ground for people who live near the Capitol, adding the events of January 6, 2021, were a result of "mob mentality."

"It was really scary that this happened so close to where we live," Gillespie said. "The area is walkable, but there's a respect for the Capitol."

"You just don't go on the stairs. It's something that's sacred, especially for people who live around here. When I saw them charging up the steps, I was very confused. You just don't do that."

Lora Garvar was walking with Gillespie near the Capitol, said the morning of January 6, she "saw protestors with bats, gas masks, tasers, riot gear coming up our street. There are always protests here, but I've never seen anything like that."

"My son was walking the dog, and I told him to get home immediately," she recalled.

"After the insurrection, there were barriers for blocks and national guard every 20 feet or so. They were all very nice and the community brought them pizza and food. But we were worried."

Gillespie agreed with Garvar, saying the worries people living around the Capitol on that day and after still leaves them unsettled.

"There was a mob mentality that day. They probably thought they were doing what they needed to do," Gillespie said. "Mistakes were made that day. We just don't know why."

"If we saw all the social media chatter and the protestors with weapons, the police did. It was very upsetting to watch it unfold, and it was alarming that it happened in our backyard."

Meanwhile, the mother of Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was killed by a police officer during the January 6 riot, was also at the Capitol building on Thursday.

Micki Witthoeft exclusively told The Sun that she believes her daughter was a "proud patriot" who was killed while "exercising her first amendment right."

Witthoeft gathered outside Capitol buildings with friends and held a picture of her daughter as she claimed that the cop who shot Babbitt should be "held accountable."

Babbit, 35, was among the hundreds of people who swarmed the Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to prevent Joe Biden from being certified as president.




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