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Friday marks two years since the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The anniversary was marked in ceremonies in front of the Capitol building itself and at the White House. Geoff Bennett reports.
Today marks two years since the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, an anniversary that was marked today in ceremonies in front of the Capitol Building itself and at the White House.
Almost exactly two years to the moment that rioters breached the U.S. Capitol, President Biden awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to 14 Americans all involved in resisting efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election or in physically defending the U.S. Capitol that day.
Joe Biden, President of the United States: Our democracy held because we, the people, as the Constitution refers to us, we, the people, did not flinch.
We honor a remarkable group of Americans who embodied the best before, during and after January the 6th.
The medal is the second highest civilian award given to those who — quote — "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens."
The parents of late Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick accepted his metal. He suffered multiple strokes after the riot, one of five police officers to die in the days and months after January 6. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman was also honored. He single-handedly lured rioters away from the entrance to the Senate chamber as lawmakers were evacuated.
D.C. Metropolitan Police Officer Daniel Hodges suffered injuries after rioters pinned him against a revolving door and beat him with his own baton, leaving him maskless and bleeding.
The president recognized election officials and poll workers who rejected lies that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Former Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers resisted efforts from fellow Republicans to overturn the election results. He lost his seat in the statehouse last August to a Republican challenger.
Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss both worked as election workers in Fulton County, Georgia. They described an emotional testimony in the January 6 Committee how they faced a barrage of harassment and threats after former President Donald Trump targeted them with false accusations of fraud.
Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, Former Georgia Election Worker: This turned my life upside down. I don't want to go anywhere. I second-guess everything that I do. It's affected my life in a major way, in every way, all because of lies, me doing my job, same thing I have been doing forever.
President Joe Biden:
Thank you all very much.
The White House calling the honorees heroes and defenders of democracy who demonstrated courage in a national moment of peril.
Earlier in the day, congressional Democrats held a moment of silence on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, the event led by former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and new Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY):
We are gathered here to honor their memory and acknowledge with deep gratitude the tremendous bravery of the hundreds of officers who defended us at the citadel of democracy that fateful day.
The moment of silence lasting 140 seconds, one second for each officer injured during the attack.
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Geoff Bennett serves as co-anchor of PBS NewsHour. He also serves as an NBC News and MSNBC political contributor.
Sam Weber has covered everything from living on minimum wage to consumer finance as a shooter/producer for PBS NewsHour Weekend. Prior joining NH Weekend, he previously worked for Need to Know on PBS and in public radio. He’s an avid cyclist and Chicago Bulls fan.
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