In the wake of the Washington D.C. riot on Jan. 6, U.S. National Guard members are sleeping on the Capitol floor, amid new impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. The troops were brought in to guard the Capitol after a mob of pro-Trump insurrectionists attacked the building in protest of the election results. The violent crowd stormed the building, destroying property and occupying lawmaker offices, as well as the Senate chambers.
The National Guard was brought in the same day, to help law enforcement regain control of the area and maintain order. This week, many more troops were added to the ranks, as Congress begins impeachment proceedings, and as the city prepares for Inauguration Day, wherein Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. The Military Times reported this week that over 6,000 National Guard troops have ascended upon the area, to help protect Congress and the Capitol. "I never thought I would see this in my own country," one of the troopers said while speaking to the outlet.
This is our National Guard, sleeping in the halls of the Capitol today, as captured by my colleague @DaniellaMicaela. And unlike House members who choose to stay in their offices to either save money or make some kind of a point, they have no House gym or shower to use. pic.twitter.com/4wh9JhxkWO— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) January 13, 2021
Now, photos have begun to emerge on social media, showing many troops sleeping on the floors in the halls of the Capitol. The exhausted and dedicated American soldiers are working around the clock to guard the sentinel of Democracy, and that means resting when and wherever they can. Scroll down to see more photos and video of the troops, and read what Twitter users are saying.
Well this is something I thought I’d never see. National Guard members getting rest in the Capitol, guns by their sides, under the busts of Lincoln and Washington. pic.twitter.com/CVDshN76eY— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021
Compare and contrast
Left: Last Wednesday
(By Ashley Gilbertson, NY Times)
Right: This Wednesday pic.twitter.com/X8b4pwpZnO— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021
This is the scene in the Capitol’s Rotunda this morning, less than an hour before the impeachment debate begins. 20+ members of the National Guard. (A week ago there were violent clashes here). pic.twitter.com/9bGTMMMjcM— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021
National Guard members in the National Statuary Hall, one of the most famous rooms in the US Capitol. (At a quiet moment some were being shown the statues). pic.twitter.com/B2yTfJgTPQ— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021
Here’s a different angle of the National Guard by the Lincoln bust from this morning. (They’ve moved on now). pic.twitter.com/jq9dlWSR0O— Ben Riley-Smith (@benrileysmith) January 13, 2021
This is the plaque above the heads of those resting National Guard members by Lincoln’s bust. It commemorates the troops quartered in the Capitol during the Civil War.January 13, 2021
If there are history books decades from now...this page. Peacefully resting before they work to ensure a peaceful transfer of power. https://t.co/EbL7QmyZnM— janashortal (@janashortal) January 13, 2021
https://t.co/CBfPeDLiP2— wendy dorian (@wendy_dorian) January 13, 2021
This is a photo of National Guard troops sleeping on the floor of The Capital. No sleeping bags, no mats, no cots, just cold hard floor. Can't we take better care of our troops?
I spotted the National Guard sleeping in the hallways of the Capitol as I walked in this morning. pic.twitter.com/PzVpQCo5yU— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) January 13, 2021
Hard to watch our National Guard Members sleep on a hard floor, but thankfully they are in the Capital to protect it from the Insurrectionist! Our troops have slept on the ground in horrible weather conditions throughout history, to defend & protect our Democracy! Thank Them! pic.twitter.com/Mmc2t8K2rd— WHSCI (@WHSCI) January 13, 2021
National Guard members sleep in the Capitol Vistor's Center on Capitol Hill before Democrats begin debating one article of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol, in Washington. Photo by Joshua Roberts pic.twitter.com/MO7QH99mpw— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins) January 13, 2021
But can they get some cots or something to sleep upon other than the cold floor?
(PS: I don’t know enough about the National Guard & deployment of its troops so my apologies for any ignorance). https://t.co/DzHV2yseAo— Katie Phang (@KatiePhang) January 13, 2021
Make America good enough that the National Guard doesn’t have to sleep on the floor of the Capitol again https://t.co/gdA6IW03c0— Jessie McLaughlin 🌝✨💫 (@losfamgeles) January 13, 2021
The fine money should go to the National Guard members having to sleep out in the hallway.— Gae Lennan (@gaelennan) January 13, 2021
New: A spokesperson for the National Guard tells me it's "commonplace" for guard soldiers on a mission to catch some sleep when they're not physically on a shift.
He says they put enough soldiers together so they can rotate them every 1-2 hours and they're always fresh.— Austin Landis (@_AustinLandis) January 13, 2021
Would it be possible to provide a cot for these National Guard men and women. They shouldn’t have to rest/sleep on a cold marble floor. pic.twitter.com/N2gvIC9DjQ— G_erry (@gtp_58) January 13, 2021