Biden to award Citizens Medal to officers who defended Capitol on Jan. 6

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden on Friday is expected to award the Presidential Citizens Medal — the nation’s second-highest civilian honor — to officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, multiple sources told ABC News and a White House official confirmed Thursday.

Biden will present the awards during a ceremony at the White House. Friday marks the second anniversary of the Capitol attack.

The recipients include Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges, Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Capitol Police Officer Carolyn Edwards, retired Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, and retired Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone.

Biden will also bestow the honor posthumously to Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who officials said died of natural causes a day after being assaulted with bear spray while defending the Capitol.

ABC News was the first to report these details.

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“To mark two years since the insurrection on the Capitol, Biden will host a ceremony at the White House where he will deliver remarks and award the Presidential Citizens Medal to “individuals who made exemplary contributions to our democracy surrounding January 6, 2021,” a senior White House official said.

Others who will receive the award include Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, mother-daughter election workers who were the target of right-wing conspiracies following the 2020 race. They’ve since discussed living in fear since the attacks against them began, describing how they were forced to leave their jobs.

Several state and local officials who stood up to pressure to overturn the 2020 election results will also receive the honor, including former Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and former Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt.

“These 12 heroes demonstrated courage and selflessness during a moment of peril for our nation,” the White House official added. “They include Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police, election workers, and officials at the state and local level.”

Many of the officers Biden will recognize on Friday have testified about their harrowing experiences during the insurrection. More than 100 officers were injured as pro-Donald Trump supporters stormed the area.

Dunn, Hodges, Fanone and Gonell described first-hand the violence toward law enforcement during the first hearing of the House Jan. 6 committee, telling lawmakers they all feared for their lives.

Edwards, who testified at a different Jan. 6 committee hearing, said called the Capitol attack a “war scene.”

“There were officers on the ground. You know, they were bleeding. They were throwing up. You know, they had, I mean, I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slipping in people’s blood. I was catching people as they fell.”

Biden has repeatedly condemned the Capitol attack as a dark day for American democracy.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday that Biden’s focus on the second anniversary of the attack will be to recognize Americans who “showed those best values of who we are.”

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