Biden honors 9 with Medal of Valor

This Wednesday, President Biden honored nine public safety officers with the Medal of Valor in recognition of extraordinary acts of heroism and bravery, including officers who died in the line of duty.

Recipients of the award include five police officers, one sheriff’s deputy and three firefighters. Congress created the medal in 2001, intending the award to go to publix safety officers who exhibit exceptional courage and swiftness of action and assume personal risk in an attempt to save or protect human life.

“I don’t know all of you, but I do know you,” Biden said. “From small towns to big cities, you’re cut from the same cloth. You run into danger when everyone else runs away from danger.”

Biden told the crowd the award was given for “actions above and beyond the call of duty,” singling out the families of the officers to thank them. 

The recipients include:

Fall detective Wilbert Mota, Fallen Detective Jason Rivera, and Detective Sumit Sulan of the New York Police Department, who sought to protect a mother and son from an armed man threatening violence, placing themselves between the assailant and occupants of the home. They were ambushed and died from their injuries. 

Corporal Jeffrey Farmer of the Littleton, Colorado Police Department, who saved the life of a fellow officer who had been wounded. Farmer suffered injuries during the incident. 

Lieutenant Justin Hespeler of the New York City Fire Department, who rushed into a burning house to rescue a newborn baby. 

Lieutenant Jason Hickey of the New York City Fire Department (Retired), who rescued a man from the Harlem River.

Deputy Bobby Hau Pham of the Clermont County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office, who saved a drowning woman who had driven her car into a lake.

Sergeant Kendrick Simpo of the Houston, Texas, Police Department, who confronted an armed man in a shopping mall.

Firefighter Patrick Thronton of the New York City Fire Department, who drove to save a man trapped beneath a capsized boat.

“You represent the best of who we are as Americans,” Mr. Biden concluded in the ceremony. 

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