PRESIDENT BIDEN AWARDS PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL TO 12 ELECTION WORKERS AND CAPITOL POLICE.
By Chris Hotchkin
President Joe Biden marked the second anniversary of the January 6 capitol riot by awarding the Presidential Citizen’s Medal to 12 Americans who helped to preserve our democracy by standing up to Donald Trump’s lies about the election or by defending the capitol on January 6. The Presidential Citizen Award is given to honor Americans who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or fellow citizens. The following Americans received the award from President Biden:
- Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, who refused Trump’s pressure to overturn the proper results of the election in Arizona. Mr. Bowers was subsequently defeated for re-election by a Trump-backed candidate.
- Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan Secretary of State, who received threats after refusing to overturn the election in Michigan. Trump threatened that she should be arrested for treason and executed.
- Al Schmidt, former Vice Chair of Philadelphia’s Board of Elections who refused to stop counting the votes as demanded by Trump. Mr. Schmidt has just been tapped by Pennsylvania’s newly elected Governor Josh Shapiro to be the state’s head election officer.
- Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, the mother-daughter team of election workers who were wrongly maligned and targeted by Trump and Giuliani and subsequently received racist death threats, and who testified before the January 6 Committee.
- Several Capitol Police officers received the award, including Eugene Goodman who drew rioters away from the senate chambers while senators were evacuating, Caroline Edwards who was the first Capitol Police officer injured by the rioters on January 6, Harry Dunn a Capitol Police officer who was the brunt of numerous racist epithets during the riot, Aquilino Gonell an officer who had to resign as a result of the trauma he incurred on January 6, Michael Fanone an officer who suffered a heart attack and traumatic brain injury in the attack, and Washington Police officer Daniel Hodges who was repeatedly crushed by rioters.
- Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died the day after the attack as a result of suffering two strokes, was presented the award posthumously.
Only one Republican honored these exemplary Americans by attending the award ceremony.