This AP photo shows Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) cleaning up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the rotunda in the early morning hours of Thursday, a day after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP-Yonhap)
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), a Korean American congressman, received wide attention and praise on Thursday for helping clean up the mess from the previous day's insurrection at the US Capitol.
Thousands of angry protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday while the Senate and the House of Representatives were trying to certify the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election.
One person was shot to death while three others died of medical issues, while many protesters breached the chambers of the Capitol, not only tarnishing the image of US democracy but democracy itself by preventing the holding of one of the most significant congressional sessions to certify the next US president for hours.
Nearly all members of both houses worked into the early hours of Thursday to finally certify Joe Biden as the next US president, but Kim was apparently the only one who volunteered to stay even longer to help clean up the Capitol.
"It was horrifying to see one of the temples of our democracy treated in that way, and we really didn't know what was going on at that time," Kim said. "We didn't know if the people coming in were armed," Kim said in an interview with a local television station, PIX11 News.
"The Capitol is our home," he was quoted as saying of his decision to join cleaning efforts that, according to reports, continued until the early morning hours of Thursday.
Kim was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 2018. He won his reelection in November. (Yonhap)