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tv   Pres. Biden Awards Medals of Valor to Public Safety Officers  CSPAN  May 17, 2022 3:25am-3:59am EDT

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♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the recipient of the 2020-2021 medal of valor.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, accompanied by the attorney general. [band plays "hail to the chief"]
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attorney general garland: good morning. please be seated. the medal of valor is our nation's highest award for our public safety officers. today we recognize an extraordinary group of such officers nominated for this
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award by public safety leaders from across the country because of their acts of courage and heroism in 2019, 2020, and 2021. in the medal of valor board then recommended each of these honorees to me for recognition and it is now my great privilege to be here alongside president biden as he confers the awards. it is also a great privilege to welcome the loved ones, friends and colleagues of the honorees who are with us here. we know your support along the way has made all the difference. the 15 honorees we recognize today demonstrated acts of, quote, extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. two of those honorees made the ultimate sacrifice.
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for the families and loved ones of second lieutenant jared lloyd and officer jason shuping, we know that nothing will ever be enough to recognize all that you have lost. you have our deepest condolences, our gratitude, and our enduring commitment to honor the courage with which lieutenant lloyd and officer shuping lived their lived. the public safety officers we honor today are true heroes. they put themselves in danger to protect their communities and fellow officers. they demonstrated to all of us and to our country what true courage looks like. and they did this not for public recognition, but because they are true public servants. to our honorees and their loved ones, and to the dedicated public safety officers all across the country who go to great lengths every day for the american people, we say thank you. thank you for your heart.
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thank you for your determination. and thank you for being indispensable partners in everything the department of justice does to try to help keep our communities safe. i'm now honored to introduce president biden who has demonstrated time and again his commitment to our nations public safety officers. thank you, mr. president, for your support of the extraordinary public servants who keep our communities and country safe and for bringing us together today. [applause] pres. biden: thank you, general. thank you very much. welcome to the white house, everyone. attorney general garland's introduction is pretty worthwhile. we're here to recognize your leadership and all you have
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done. we're also joined by deputy attorney general lisa monaco and the drug enforcement agency's anne milgram and i'd like to thank members of congress here today, senator chris murphy, and i also want -- jim himes is here with us today and congressman adriano espaillat. excuse me. you can call bidden. we've known each other so long and i still stumbled. i apologize. it's good to see you all. they represent members in districts of many -- that many of you are from and of course , we're honored to be joined by law enforcement and firefighters units from across the country. we can never fully thank you for your service or sacrifice. but today is an important day for the nation to give thanks for all that you do for everybody. for all of us. because of covid-19 we couldn't
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have this special ceremony for the past two years, but i'm honored that we finally can today honor 15 public safety officers from eight different departments with the medal of valor, the highest award a president can bestow on a public safety officer. this designation reads, and i quote, for action above and beyond the call of duty and exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind or unusual swiftness in action regardless of his or her personal safety in an attempt to save or protect human life, end of quote. that's valor. that's valor. the honorees, i don't know all of you personally, but i do know you. growing up, you are the ones who when we were outnumbered 3-1, you jumped in. i grew up in a neighborhood where you either became a cop, a firefighter or a priest, i wasn't qualified for any of
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them, so here i am. [laughter] you jump in to help the one. it's not a joke. and your parents can attest to it. you were the ones to run in and help when everyone else runs away, even before you became involved in firefighting or law enforcement. as adults you're the first ones to volunteer to coach a little league team or shovel your elderly neighbor's driveway or walk when it snows. you're the heart, soul, and very spine of this country and your communities. each one of you from small town departments to big cities, you're cut from the same cloth. you possess the selflessness, it's really hard to explain. a rare commitment to your neighbors and fellow americans. an unusual bravery that inspires everyone. and you've been singled out because of your extraordinary heroism. in a few moments, the full citation of your valor will be
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read. but this is who you are. you plunged into icy lake waters, dove into choppy oceans to save people who were drowning, you faced a hail of gunfire to save your colleagues. you climbed burning buildings to save a baby and more than 100 senior citizens. you drew fire to yourself, to yourself, to save a hostage. and you did all of this without concern for your own safety, thinking only of somebody else. the other. you know, you've gone above and beyond. i think it's instinctive. because this job isn't just what you do, it's who you all are. it's really who you are. but we also know you didn't do this alone. to the parents who are here today, you get -- you set a standard, remarkable public safety officer. they didn't just get this by osmosis. they got it through all of you. something about the example you set made them want to do what
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they do. i want to thank you moms and dads here for teaching your children for the values we honor today. and i want to thank the spouses and the children of the honorees. it takes a special person to marry or a child to be the child of a firefighter or law enforcement officer. how many times have you sat in front of the steps of your house when the city lights have gone out and you turned to your husband, your wife, holding your kid and say, we'll be fine. we'll be fine. go do your job. go do your job. you know, when your loved one puts on that shield, walks out the door each day, every family member dreads the possibility of receiving that phone call. knowing the uncertainty that faces you as they walk out the
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door. so today, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. the spouses. the children, of the public safety officers. i really mean it. there are two families in particular i want to acknowledge. two of our honorees, officer jason shuping and lieutenant jared lloyd. that was because they gave their lives in the full service of their communities and this nation. to their families, unless you would rather not, i'd like you to stand so everybody can see you. [applause]
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pres. biden: on behalf of the american people, my wife, jill, and i want to extend our love. we know from personal but different experience that these events are bittersweet. brings everything back. if you just got the news. you're proud. but it's hard. just yesterday, i stood at the united states capitol for the national police officers memorial service to pay tribute to hundreds of fallen heroes. i was joined by the president of the fraternal order of police who is here today, i don't know where patrick is, but i know he's here today. there you go, patrick. thank you for yesterday and thank you for today. we pay tribute to all law enforcement officers and their families who understand what it takes, what's at risk to save and protect all of us. that includes paying tribute to the buffalo police officer,
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aaron slater, who gave his life trying to save others when a gunman shot and killed 10 innocent people in a grocery store in buffalo on saturday. he actually was able to shoot the assailant twice but he had on a bulletproof vest and he lost his life in the process. no one understands more than all of you here today the pain and anguish those families in buffalo feel, but if they were pulled into -- when it happens, at least my experience, you feel like you're pulled into a black hole inside your chest and everything, everything, you can't -- it's hard. but as you know, you're part of a special community. a special community because the firefighters and police officers will always be there for you. i know it's a small consolation but they'll always be there for you, and your family and your children and your grandchildren, the whole family. to talk about law enforcement being a family, firefighters
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being a family, it's real. just like being a military family. it's unbreakable. there's a headstone in a cemetery in ireland that reads, "death leaves a heartache no one can heal. love leaves a memory that no one can steal." the families of the fallen, no one can ever steal the memory of your loved one. i hope the day will come when the memory of your loss, dad, son, husband, brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye. i promise you it will come. but, you know, my prayers are that it comes sooner than later. you know, i want to say a
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special thanks to you all for being here because i know it's hard. and -- but understand, all the people in this room and all the people listening, they understand the sacrifices that not only that your spouse made, your son made, but you make. every day. and all the families that are here. like i said, that alarm goes off, when the bell sounds, you all wish them well but you know, and you worry. thank you for all you do. i'd like to conclude with this. there's an incredible group of 15 heroes. i know you don't do this work for recognition. but you reflect the best part of who we are as americans. these medals reflect the profound gratitude of our
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nation. it's the highest medal that can be honored. god bless you all. may god protect our firefighters and law enforcement officers and their families everywhere. it's my honor now to award these medals and ask the military aides to read the citations. thank you. [applause] >> assistant chief ryan sprunger. assistant chief ryan sprunger of the east wing, ohio, fire district, was off duty when he responded to a call about several individuals who fell into a frozen pond. without any thermal protection and equipped with nothing but a
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throw rope, assistant chief sprunger jumped into the freezing water to rescue the victims, a grandfather and his two grandchildren. he pulled the grandfather and one child out and guided medics who arrived to the second child, demonstrating extraordinary courage to save lives. [applause] >> officers ryan smith, vincent mendoza and robert paul. officers ryan smith, vincent
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mendoza and robert paul iii of the california highway patrol were caught in a gunfight with a violent assailant who had shot and killed their colleague in an unprovoked attack in a traffic stop. the officers went to incredible lengths to protect each other even as officer smith and officer paul each sustained multiple gunshot wounds to their legs. officer mendoza engaged the suspect so his wounded colleagues could evacuate safely. all three of them demonstrating bravery and composure while enduring a deadly rampage. [applause]
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>> firefighter abraham "abe" miller. firefighter abraham miller of the new york city fire department rappelled down the roof of a burning residential building without a solid anchor for his rope to rescue a 5-year-old girl being held out a window by her grandmother. firefighter miller smashed the glass, reached through heavy smoke and saved the little girl as they were lowered six floors to safety, demonstrating brave and decisive action to save lives. [applause]
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[applause] >> haylee shuping accepting on behalf of fallen officer jason shuping, and officers kyle baker, paul stackenwalt and kaleb robinson.
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officers kyle baker, paul stackenwalt and kaleb robinson of the concord, north carolina police department engaged a suspect in a retail area who opened fire on officers and took a woman hostage. the officers fired at the suspect to turn attention to away from their colleagues, shielding each other with their own bodies until they ended the threat. during the gunfight, officer shuping paid the ultimate sacrifice. all four men showed courageous action in a volatile encounter with a gunman to protect the public. [applause] [laughter] [applause]
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[applause] [applause] >> deputy sheriff dalton rushing.
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deputy sheriff dalton rushing of the perry county, ohio, sheriff's department plunged into a frozen lake to rescue a person who had fallen through the ice and remained stuck in hypothermic conditions for 45 minutes. when the victim couldn't grab on to him and said he was prepared to give up, deputy rushing tied a rope to the victim and submerged himself into the icy water until rescuers could pull them both to shore, demonstrating courageous action and uncommon poise to save lives. [applause] [applause]
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>> sabrail davenport, mother of fallen lieutenant jared lloyd. >> fallen second lieutenant jared lloyd of the spring valley, new york fire department repeatedly rushed into a burning nursing home to carry out elderly residents who couldn't get out in their wheelchairs and walkers. he and his team rescued all the residents. as the flames and gold the building, lieutenant lloyd ran back in one more time to make sure no more residents were trapped, sacrificing his life as the building collapsed and demonstrating heroic actions to protect innocent civilians. [applause]
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[applause] >> firefighters john colandro, michael rosero and chad titus. firefighters john colandro, michael rosero and chad titus of the stamford, connecticut fire department drove into freezing water in a blizzard to rescue two trapped occupants of
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a truck rapidly sinking below the water line. after rescuing one victim, the truck fully submerged, and facing strong offshore winds, the rescuers broke a glass window while underwater and successfully pulled the remaining passenger out to safety. all three men demonstrated extraordinary courage to save accident victims. [applause] [applause]
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[applause] [applause] >> officer anthony giorgio. officer anthony giorgio of the
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pensacola, florida, police department, while on a beach vacation with his family, heard screams coming from the water as swimmers were pummeled by tall, crashing waves. officer giorgio ran into the dangerous rip current and brought a child back to shore. he then jumped back into the water several more times and in total swam approximately 300 yards and successfully rescued two children and one adult in distress, putting himself in grave danger to save lives. [applause] [applause] pres. biden: vacation he'll
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never forget. [laughter] i'd like to give one last round of applause to the recipients of the medal of valor. [applause] thank you all for your service and sacrifice. and may god bless you, keep you safe, and may god protect all firefighters and all police officers. like i said, you're the character of the country. you're the best of all of them. thank you all for being here. appreciate it. [applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats as the president departs. [laughter] pres. biden: thank you, everybody. [applause] ♪ [band plays "god bless america"] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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injured, and the threat posed by racially motivated violent extremism. legislation, i would like to take a moment to acknowledge the tragic, bloody events of this weekend.


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