Congress authorized this memorial plaque to honor Private First Class Jacob Joseph Chestnut and Detective Michael Gibson, two United States Capitol Police officers killed in the line of duty on July 24, 1998.
On July 27, 1998, Congress approved House Concurrent Resolution 310, 105th Congress, 2nd Session. The resolution authorized the use of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for a memorial service for each officer and directed the Architect of the Capitol to "place a plaque in honor of the memory of [Gibson and Chestnut]… at an appropriate site in the United States Capitol, with the approval of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate." The two officers lay in honor in the Rotunda on July 28, before and following the memorial service, and were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
The Architect of the Capitol oversaw the design of the bronze plaque. It measures 24 by 30 inches; bas relief portraits of Chestnut and Gibson based on their photographs frame the inscription. The egg-and-dart border references neoclassical elements in the U.S. Capitol, and an image of a U.S. Capitol Police badge marks the center of the plaque near its base.
The plaque was affixed to the wall near the location of the incident, and the entrance door was renamed the Memorial Door. On July 22, 1999, Members of Congress and the U.S. Capitol Police held a ceremony to dedicate the plaque and rename the door.
Text of the Plaque
IN HONOR AND REMEMBRANCE OF THE HEROISM
OFFICER JACOB JOSEPH CHESTNUT
DETECTIVE JOHN MICHAEL GIBSON
UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE
WHO, ON JULY 24, 1998, HERE
BRAVELY GAVE THEIR LIVES DEFENDING
THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL
DEDICATED BY THE HONORABLE J. DENNIS HASTERT,
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE HONORABLE STROM THURMOND,
PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE