President Biden honored law enforcement officers and election officials involved in the events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot during a Friday ceremony.
Biden honored the election officials and law enforcement officers with the Presidential Citizens Medal, saying that "history will remember" their names.
"You held the line that day and what was on the line was our democracy," Biden said. "And history will remember your names and remember your courage. But remember your bravery. Remember your extraordinary commitments to your fellow Americans. It's not hyperbole. That's a fact. That's a fact."
Among those who received the Presidential Citizens Medal, which is given to people who have "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens," is Jocelyn Benson, Secretary of State of Michigan; Rusty Bowers, Arizona Secretary of State during the 2020 election; Michael Fanone, who was a Metropolitan Police Department officer during the Jan. 6 attack and suffered injuries; Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police Officer who diverted rioters away from senators; and Brian Sicknick; who U.S. Capitol Police say "passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty" and "was injured while physically engaging with protesters."
Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Sicknick, accepted the medal on his behalf.
"It's not exaggeration to say America owes you, owes you all. I really mean this. A debt, a debt of gratitude, one we can never fully repay unless we live up to what you did live up to," Biden said during the event.
Biden also misspoke during the event, saying "July 6" instead of "January 6."
"If I can halt for a second and just say to you the impact what happened on July 6 had international repercussions beyond what I think any of you can fully understand," Biden said.
Speaking of what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, Biden said that "our democracy was attacked."
"There's no other way of saying it. The U.S. Capitol was breached, which had never happened before in the history of the United States of America, even during the Civil War. A violent mob of insurrectionists assaulted law enforcement, vandalized sacred halls, hunted down elected officials, all for the purpose of attempt to overthrow the will of the people and usurp the peaceful transfer of power," Biden said.