A Somber Day In The Capitol

The flag above the capitol remained at half staff and on the steps below the flowers told why, reports CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer.

Even for the police it was still hard to believe.

The family of John Gibson wanted to know just where it happened, so they came as did their friends and strangers. Some were silent, some could not hold back.

Capitol Hill is a small town -- everybody knows everybody. So this was a hard Monday for the people who work here.

"Actualy its kind of eerie in my building...everybody is just very sad," said one staffer on the Hill.

On the floor of the House and Senate there was praise for the officers bravery.

"Far too often we walk past them and we take them for granted," said Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott [R-Miss.]

In the corridors, the police were back at their posts -- with their badges marked with black tape. The entrance to the office that was terrorized was draped in black and somehow the whole capitol seemed quieter.

Congressional Leaders were determined to keep the capitol open so there were as many tourists as usual. However, they too were subdued.

"I don't know, it seems like its a little scary," said one tourist. "I don't think we should live in fear because one man does something," said another.

As always the most popular stop for visitors was the spectacular rotunda. It is there that the caskets of Chesnut and Gibson will be brought Tuesday -- an honor usually accorded only to Presidents.

All of Congress and the president are expected to pay tribute to their bravery and they will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

As for enhancing security here, the incident has provoked talk of everything from adding more police to reviving plans to build a vast underground tourist center that would stretch from the capitol to the street.

Among other things it could be used to screen visitors.

Congress has resisted doing that in the past, because of the cost -- around $135 million. Now some are saying it may be necessary.

Reported by Bob Schieffer
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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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