By Kate Sullivan, CNN
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Monday thanked National Guard troops who have been deployed to the U.S. Capitol in recent months as their mission ended Sunday at the Capitol precinct.
“Since the January 6 uprising, thousands of proud members of the service, from states and territories throughout our Union, have guarded the citadel of our democracy. When they return to their homes and families now, we salute to each of them for their commitment to the country, “the Bidens wrote in a statement.
The bidens added: “When duty demands, members of our national guard put their lives on hold to protect themselves as a shield and support when their country needs it. We have asked a lot of our guard during the last year, not only defending our Capitol, but supporting our fight against COVID-19, responding to damage caused by storms and forest fires, and deploying ourselves internationally to support peacekeeping missions.
The bidens noted that their late son Beau was a member of the National Guard and said, “The Biden family is a National Guard family and we are always grateful and admired by those who, like our son Beau, understand this duty. and service to others is what makes us Americans like us. ”
Beau Biden was a senior National Guard and Delaware Attorney General. He died in 2015 at the age of 46 due to brain cancer.
“To all members of the National Guard and their families who sacrifice for our country as well as all our members of the service: we owe you and will always have your back,” the statement said.
Retired lieutenant general Russel Honoré, the man in charge of leading a review of Capitol security after the Jan. 6 insurgency, announced Sunday that troops would leave Capitol grounds. He told CBS that the troops had fulfilled their mission of securing the Capitol.
In addition to being deployed to the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 violence, members of the National Guard have been responding to a wide range of domestic issues, including Covid-19s, civil unrest and natural disasters. Across the country, members of the National Guard have been working at Covid-19 test sites, providing protective equipment, sanitizing care facilities for the elderly, and helping to administer vaccine shots to the arms.
The U.S. National Guard was so busy in 2020 with “unprecedented” national deployments that it referred to 2020 as the Year of the Guard.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story erred in Beau Biden’s rank in the National Guard. He was older.
CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.