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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Congressman Andy Kim joins clean-up efforts at Capitol after attack, photos go viral

“When you see something you love that’s broken you want to fix it. I love the Capitol. I‘m honored to be there,” New Jersey Congressman Andy Kim said about his actions.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2021 4:16:28 pm
andy kim, US Capitol Hill Siege, US Capitol Hill attack, Capitol hill clean up efforts, congressman clean up capitol hill, andy kim capitol clean up viral pics, viral news, indian expressThe New Jersey Representative sheltered in his office for six hours—then stayed until 3 am to clean up the Capitol.

Hours after pro-Donald Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol leaving behind a trail of debris, a Congressman joined police officers in cleaning up the building lobby. Now, images of Congressman Andy Kim, captured by AP Photographer Andrew Harnik, are winning hearts online.

The New Jersey Congressman spent hours locked in his office, as violence was unleashed in the premises. After the dust settled, he joined hands with the ATF police officers to clean up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday.

Water bottles, clothing, Trump flags, even a US flag littered the ground inside the US Capitol after an angry mob smashed through police lines, breaking windows and wrenching open doors as they ransacked the building.

After all was clear, Kim, who has previously served in Afghanistan and Iraq, took it upon himself to start cleaning up the debris and garbage left behind. And eyewitnesses say it wasn’t for an audience. Rep Tom Malinowski and Rep. Dean Phillips who walked in on him posted images on Twitter saying they didn’t realise it was their fellow colleague at first glance.

“There were a couple National Guardsman and I noticed somebody on his hands and knees leaning under a bench to pick something up and it was Andy all by himself, just quietly removing debris and putting it in a plastic bag. He was clearly not doing it for an audience,” Malinowski told AP.

“Litter and trash and garbage and debris everywhere — all over the statues, the benches were all askew and it just broke my heart,” Kim told CBS Philly.

Kim in an interview with GQ magazine said that after he voted, he started walking around the Capitol, surveying the damage. It was then he noticed police officers putting pizza boxes in trash bags, so he asked for one, too, and began cleaning up. “When I got to the rotunda, the center of the Capitol and really the center of our country, right at the heart of our democracy, I was shocked by the disarray,” he said.

andy kim, US Capitol Hill Siege, US Capitol Hill attack, Capitol hill clean up efforts, congressman clean up capitol hill, andy kim capitol clean up viral pics, viral news, indian express Rep. Andy Kim cleans up debris and trash strewn across the floor in the early morning hours of Thursday, after protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington, on Wednesday. (Source: AP)

“This was probably the worst condition that room has ever been in. It broke my heart — I almost started crying,” he added saying it was a really emotional day for him.

Talking about the viral images, he added: “It was a day of extraordinarily sad images, and I think the image of someone trying to clean up the mess struck a nerve with a lot of folks.”

Here’s how people reacted:

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