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tv   Pres. Biden Signs Congressional Gold Medals for Jan. 6 Officers Bill  CSPAN  August 8, 2021 10:49pm-11:01pm EDT

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our coverage of the january 6 joint session and the congressional hearings examining what happened at the capitol on that day can be found at our website, stay with c-span for continuing coverage of the investigation into the january 6 attack. >> you been watching the c-span series, january 6, "views from the house." . next sunday, three more members of congress share their experience of what they saw, heard, and experience that day. representative jamie raskin, brian fitzpatrick, and dean phillips. january 6, "views from the house." >> president biden signed a bill this week to award congressional gold medals to the police officers who responded to the january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol. the president thanked the
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officers for saving the lives of members of congress during the attack seven months ago. the metal is the highest honor congress can bestow. here is a portion of the president's remarks. you can watch the entire event online at pres. biden: folks, not even during the civil war did insurrectionists breached the capitol of the united states of america. the citadel of our democracy. not even then. but on january 6, 2021, they did. they did. a mob of extremists and terrorists launched a violent and deadly assault on the people's house, on the sacred ritual to certify a free and fair election. it wasn't dissent, it wasn't debate, it wasn't democracy.
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it was insurrection. it was right and may him. it was radical and chaotic. and it was unconstitutional, and maybe most important, it was fundamentally un-american. an existential threat and a test of whether our democracy can survive. whether it could overcome lies and overcome the fury of a few who were seeking to thwart the election. while it both shocked and saddened our nation, our democracy did survive. it did. truth fetid lies. we did overcome -- truth defeated lies. that's because the women and men of the u.s. capitol police, washington, d.c. metropolitan police department and other law enforcement officials we honor
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today. speaker pelosi, who led the effort in the house, senator klobuchar and blunt, cosponsors, and to all my colleagues that are here, thank you. thank you. today i'm going to sign into law the bill you sent to me the awards of a congressional gold medal to the united states capitol police the washington dc metropolitan police department, and other law enforcement for their service in defense of our democracy on
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>> in these moments when we are still debating, these were tragic hours back in. you stood the breach, you did your duty, your duty to defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and mystic. the events that transpired were surprising, but not your character, your courage. i didn't grow up with any of you, but i know you. you are just like all the men and women i grew up with, in that time it was men. in scranton, places where in the neighborhood i lived in you either became a cop, a firefighter, or a priest. i wasn't qualified for any of them, so here i am. [laughter] all kidding aside, i got to know you. you are the same ones after a
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ballgame at a visiting field, come walking out of the field and you might be all by yourself you watched six people jump our teammates. what did you do? you jumped in, knowing you would get the hell beaten out of you too. police officers are not what you do, it is who you are. i got to know you through 36 years in the senate and eight years as vice president. you are always there. it is not a joke or hyperbole, duty, honor and service is who you are. it is who your dad was. america owes you a debt we can never fully repay.
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but i know receiving this award is bittersweet. on that day, more than 140 law enforcement officers suffered physical injuries, and untold number suffered an emotional toll. 15 of you were hospitalized and others were lost forever. may their souls rest in peace and rise in glory. i know each time you put on that shield in the morning or whenever you show up for work, your families wonder whether they will get a call that day, a call they do not want to receive, hoping you come home safely. it breaks my heart. it breaks the heart of the nation. you were assaulted by thousands of violent insurrectionists at the capitol of the united states
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of america. jill and i would never have thought we would have to join you in the capitol rotunda not once but twice. once to honor officer brian sicknick, who lost his life, and then to honor billy evans, who lost his life as well. both gave their full measure of devotion to the country at the united states capitol. their families are here today -- yes, you should clap for the families. [applause] i know, like others know, from personal experience, getting that phone call.
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it is nice to be honored and have those you lost remembered, but it is tough to be here. it brings back everything like it happened 10 minutes ago. so i offer you not only our condolences, but recognize your courage, the courage of your children. you have our most profound gratitude. you know, the fallen, in my view, our casualties of a struggle literally for the soul of america. a struggle that they did not start, a struggle we did not seek, and a struggle that by the grace of god will win. i know this is a bittersweet moment.
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as proud of brian and billy, as you are, it still brings back the pain of the moment it happened. also, we offer our prayers to the families of the capitol police officer -- those of us who had in around a while knew his dad, he was sergeant at arms of the u.s. senate. we also pray for the loved ones of jeffrey smith. for anyone facing trauma or struggling, please know there is help available. my fellow americans, the tragedy of that day deserves the truth above all else. we cannot allow history to be rewritten.
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we cannot allow the heroism of these officers to be forgotten. we have to understand what happened. the honest and unvarnished truth. we have to face it. that is what great nations do. and we are a great nation. in the past weeks and months, we have heard the officers themselves, some of them here today, describe what happened -- the threats, the violence, the savageness. when asked what he was fighting for, officer hodges stated it eloquently, one word: democracy. let's remember what this is all about. it was a violent attempt to overturn the will of the american people, to seek power at all costs, to replace the ballot with brute force, to destroy, not to build. without democracy, nothing is possible.
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with it, everything is. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, provided by these television companies and more, including mediacom. >> internet traffic soared and we never slowed down. schools and businesses went virtual, and we powered a new reality, because that mediacom, we are built to keep you ready. >> giving you a front row seat to democracy. -- front row seat. ♪


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