U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Harry Dunn, in the cap, on Thursday before the signing of a bill awarding Congressional Gold Medals to law enforcement officers that protected members of Congress at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 riot.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden paid tribute to law enforcement officers who responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection by signing legislation Thursday to award them Congressional Gold Medals for their service. Biden thanked the officers for saving the lives of members of Congress during those “tragic hours” of the attack.
The medal is the highest honor Congress can bestow. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris held a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden to sign the legislation, which was passed unanimously by the Senate this week.
Many officers were beaten and injured that day as the violent mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters pushed past them to break into the Capitol and interrupt the certification of Biden’s victory. Some of them, including four who testified at a House hearing last week, have spoken about the lasting mental and physical scars.
“My fellow Americans, let’s remember what this was all about,” Biden said of the siege. “It was a violent attempt to overturn the will of the American people, to seek power at all costs, to replace the ballot with brute force. To destroy, not to build. Without democracy, nothing is possible. With it, everything is.”
The law will place the medals in four locations — Capitol Police headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution.
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