(WASHINGTON) — First lady Jill Biden on Tuesday will sit during the State of the Union with the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., the parents of Tyre Nichols and the man who last month wrestled the gun away from a shooting suspect in Monterey Park, California.
Many of the guests present in the first lady’s viewing box were invited because they “personify issues or themes” President Joe Biden is expected to address in his speech, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.
Others “embody the Biden-Harris Administration’s policies at work for the American people.”
Nichols’ mother and stepfather, RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, will sit in the first lady’s box on Tuesday, weeks after their son died following a traffic stop that turned into a a violent altercation with police.
“President Biden has made clear that we must take action to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again,” White House officials said in an announcement.
The White House also invited Brandon Tsay, the California man who disarmed the suspect in last month’s mass shooting in Monterey Park.
“Tsay is credited with preventing the gunman, who had killed 11 people and injured 10 others, from carrying out a second attack in Alhambra,” the White House said.
Oksana Markarova, the Ukrainian ambassador, will join Jill Biden in “recognition of sustained U.S. support for Ukraine nearly a year after Russia launched its unprovoked attack,” the White House said.
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