NJ Rep Andy Kim Donates Suit He Wore During Capitol Riot to Smithsonian to Memorialize the Day in History | Inside Edition

NJ Rep Andy Kim Donates Suit He Wore During Capitol Riot to Smithsonian to Memorialize the Day in History

 Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) pets Officer Clarence, a Saint Bernard with the Greenfield (Mass.) Police Department in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building on Thursday, April 15, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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It is unclear when and how the suit will be displayed at the Smithsonian, but Kim told CBS Philly that it will be “surreal to take his children to the Smithsonian one day to see it.” 

One New Jersey lawmaker has donated the blue suit he wore on the day a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol to the Smithsonian Institution to memorialize Jan. 6, as a day that he said: "must never be forgotten."

"While some try to erase history, I will fight to tell the story so it never happens again," Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) wrote in a series of tweets.

Kim said the only other time he wore the blue suit was on Jan. 13, the day he walked on the House floor to cast his vote for impeachment.  “The suit still had dust on the knees from Jan. 6. I wore it so I would have no doubt about the truth of what happened,” he wrote. 

During the insurrection, Kim was in a separate federal building and was shocked and saddened by the damage the looters did to the interior of the historic building that he had grown so fond of.

“Under that great dome was just ransacked, just garbage and debris everywhere, all of it all over the statues, all over the floor,” Kim said.

He told the Washington Post in January that “it was really painful to see this room and the building that I love so much hurting," according to USA Today. 

The blue suit itself he described as “unremarkable," and explained that he had purchased it off-the-rack at a J.Crew holiday sale, to mark the joyous occasion of Biden’s inauguration, and decided to wear it early for the Electoral College vote certification on Jan. 6, but the day was anything but.

“When I got home I vowed to never wear the suit again. I even considered throwing it away. It only brought back terrible memories," he said. "I could never separate that suit from the events of Jan 6. I hid it in my closet as I never wanted to see it again."

But then something happened, Kim wrote, and that "something" was the outpouring of support he got from people all over the country. Soon, Kim’s feelings about the blue suit changed, many told him how it had become a symbol of “hope and resilience,” he explained. 

“For me, I was in a tough place," Kim wrote. "But the feeling of hope and resilience in the cards helped me feel stronger."

In mid-January, the Smithsonian Institution, a government-supported museum and research consortium, reached out to Kim about acquiring the suit for its collection, USA Today reported. 

It is unclear when and how the suit will be displayed at the Smithsonian, but Kim told CBS Philly that it will be “surreal to take his children to the Smithsonian one day to see it.” 

In a statement, Melinda Machado, director for the Office of Communications and Marketing from the National Museum of American History, told the news outlet. “We can confirm that Rep. Andy Kim’s suit has been received by the museum as part of a larger collecting initiative to continue to assess now and in the future what historians and the public will know about Jan. 6, 2021."

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