News / USA

Biden Honors Bravest Police, Firefighters

Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder present the Medal of Valor to Officer Julie Olson of the Maplewood, Minnesota, Police Department, during a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in WashingVice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder present the Medal of Valor to Officer Julie Olson of the Maplewood, Minnesota, Police Department, during a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washing
x
Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder present the Medal of Valor to Officer Julie Olson of the Maplewood, Minnesota, Police Department, during a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washing
Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder present the Medal of Valor to Officer Julie Olson of the Maplewood, Minnesota, Police Department, during a ceremony in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washing
Kent Klein
Police officers and firefighters who put themselves in harm’s way to save lives have been honored at the White House. Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder presented the awards.

The Medal of Valor is the highest national honor for a U.S. public safety officer.

The vice president and attorney general awarded the medal to 14 first responders, and to the families of four others who died in the line of duty. Biden praised the heroism of America's first responders.

“That is why we are here today, to honor those rare few who have looked certain danger in the face, faced it with incredible valor, all the while saying ‘It is my duty.’”

Biden said those honored shared a selflessness that is not easily explained. He gave several examples, including Robert Lombardo and Joshua Miller of the Pennsylvania State Police, who saved the life of a boy who had been kidnapped by his father. Lombardo was wounded in the shootout, and Miller was killed.

“What is it that pushes a man like Trooper Joshua Miller to think that the safety of a kidnapped 9-year-old child is more important than his own physical safety? To engage the kidnapper, even after he had been wounded, instead of trying to find cover or get treatment for his wounds? What is it?” asked Biden.

A medal also was awarded to firefighters from Virginia Beach, Virginia, who crawled through intense heat to rescue a baby from a house fire.

Another Medal of Valor was given to an off-duty Arkansas state fish and game officer who sped to the scene of a shootout between a suspect and police. Officer Michael Neal rammed his vehicle into one driven by a man who was shooting semi-automatic weapons at the police, likely saving the officers’ lives.

Biden said the White House ceremony gave him the rare opportunity to recognize the bravery and heroism of public safety officers.

“You are the heart, you are the soul, you are the spine of the nation. And the really sad thing is that it takes an extraordinary act for the community to rise up and recognize what you do, although you know it. You know it,” said the vice president.

Biden also paid tribute to the sacrifices of the families of first responders, especially those whose loved ones have died in the line of duty.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid