President Biden awards the Citizens Medal to 12 on the January 6 anniversary of the uprising
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Friday will present the nation’s second-highest civilian honor to 12 people involved in defending the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising and safeguarding the will of American voters in the 2020 presidential election.
The White House announced Thursday that Biden will present the Presidential Citizens Medal during a ceremony in the East Room to mark the second anniversary of the attack on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, whose siege interrupted congressional attestation of Biden’s victory.
Among the honorees are seven law enforcement officials, including a posthumous award for Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died after the attack, and an award for Officer Eugene Goodman, who was credited with directing rioters away from the Senate while lawmakers evacuated buildings .
Also honored are two other Capitol Police Officers, Harry Dunn and Caroline Edwards; Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell; Metropolitan Police Department officer Daniel Hodges and a former officer Michael Fanone.
Biden also pays tribute to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Rusty Bowers, a former Arizona House Speaker who resisted pressure to overturn the election results; and Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss, poll workers in Fulton County, Georgia, who faced threats and harassment after ensuring the county’s votes were properly tabulated.
One award goes to Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia elections official who was publicly pressured by Trump to stop counting valid ballots. Schmidt, a Republican, is nominated by Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, for the top post of Pennsylvania’s electoral administration, Secretary of State.
Created by President Richard Nixon in 1969, the Presidential Citizens Medal is the second highest civilian honor in the country after the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It is awarded to individuals who have “provided exemplary service to their country or fellow citizens”.
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