"The hierarchy was just figuring out what to do. They knew it was going to be a long-term thing, so they didn't want to rush to any one direction or another," he said.
This marked what Dunphy saw as a shift from preparations for their ratings and certification evaluations to "protection mode."
"The department has grown incredibly, and it's focused its attention more so to terrorist activity. So it's focused more on protection than anything else, and that is what they pay us for," he said.
Both Thompson and Dunphy stayed late that day, guarding the Capitol against a threat that hadn't yet completely taken shape. And both continued to come to work in the following weeks, serving long hours, working extra shifts, adjusting to the new normal.
"It never really occurred to me to say, 'Hey, I protected and served this day, but I think I'm done now.' That's not really the commitment I signed up for," Thompson said.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.