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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid