"We're going to swear in a new President and a new Vice President and we're going to move our nation forward," Pence said.
In his remarks, Pence thanked them for coming to protect the inauguration.
The National Guard were on a 24-hour watch in the U.S. Capitol after last week's violence, with off-duty members left to catch naps in hallways and below the bust of General George Washington, who led the United States to victory in its battle for independence against Britain more than two centuries ago.
MIKE PENCE: I know you all had to move out to get here. And being here at the Capitol, providing the level of security that's going to make it possible for us to-- a-- historic transfer of power. The inauguration of a new president of the United States. You all are going to make that possible.
I just came from a briefing at Homeland Security, and I heard about the great efforts that our National Guard is making, and the literally thousands and thousands of men and women in uniform. And they're going to make it possible for us to have a safe inauguration. And I just wanted to stop out today to say thank you. Thank you for your service. Thank you for stepping forward, and just God bless you in the days ahead. And it's been my great honor to serve as your Vice President, and I want to thank you for your service. OK? Great.
- Everybody here is from Virginia.
MIKE PENCE: Is that right? Oh. That's great.
- There's New York in there somewhere, oh.
- We found 'em.