President Joe Biden signed a bill into law awarding four Congressional Gold Medals to law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6 during the riot.
At the Rose Garden ceremony on Thursday, the president said, “My fellow Americans, the tragedy that day deserves the truth above all else.”
He continued, “We cannot allow history to be rewritten. We cannot allow the heroism of these officers to be forgotten. We have to understand what happened, the honest and unvarnished truth. We have to face it.”
As The New York Times notes, the medal is Congress’ “highest expression of national appreciation.”
Biden also said, “To all of them, on behalf of a grateful nation, thank you, thank you, thank you for protecting our Capitol. Maybe even more importantly, for protecting our Constitution and saving the lives of duly elected members of the Senate and the House and their staffs.”
NOW – Biden invites children to the desk before he signs a bill into law to award four Congressional Gold Medals to U.S. Capitol Police.pic.twitter.com/MItRqFfujV— Disclose.tv ? (@disclosetv) August 5, 2021
JUST IN: Pres. Biden signs law awarding congressional medals of honor to law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol during the January 6 insurrection. https://t.co/xY8G8YiI04 pic.twitter.com/9CYaatnU5l— ABC News (@ABC) August 5, 2021
About 140 officers were injured on January 6, according to the Times, which cites the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police departments. The injuries “ranged from bruises and lacerations to more serious damage such as concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack,” the publication reports.
Watch the full video below:
Law enforcement officers testified last week about their experiences defending the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
During a hearing before a House select committee investigating January 6, Washington, D.C., Police Officer Daniel Hodges was asked what he thinks about lawmakers who have suggested calling the rioters “tourists.”
He said on July 27, “Well, if that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists.”
Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn said on CNN after his testimony, “You know what hurts more than — or just as much as — what happened on January 6th, the attacks? The attacks on our credibility and that we’re lying and that we don’t love our country and we’re fake police officers, and we’re not real cops.”
Additionally, Tom Manger, the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, told CNN recently, “The safety and security of the U.S. Capitol, the Congress, that legislative process, those are top priorities.”
Manger also said he disagrees with those who view the Capitol riot as “a normal tourist visit” or “a lovefest.” He said, “That’s not the way I saw it.” However, as Manger said, “Everybody’s entitled to their opinion.”