© Reuters. U.S. Capitol Police officers attend when President Joe Biden celebrates Jan.
By Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden Thursday honored police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol against insurgents on Jan. 6 by signing a bill that awarded them Congressional gold medals, urging the country not to reopen history that day to write.
The bill, passed by the Senate earlier this week, honors members of the Capitol Police and Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department who battled with a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump as they tried to overturn his electoral defeat.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris held an emotional ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House with several police officers and lawmakers to commemorate the signing.
Hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 after reiterating false claims of election fraud in a fiery speech. Biden, who defeated Trump in the November election, was inaugurated on January 20.
“While the attack on our values and our voices shocked and saddened the nation, our democracy survived. She did it. The truth has conquered the lies. We have overcome them, ”said Biden, paying tribute to the men and women of law enforcement.
Four people died on the day of the violence. A Capitol police officer who was attacked by protesters died the next day. Four police officers guarding the building have since died of suicide. More than 100 officers were injured.
The law will place the medals in four locations – the Capitol Police Headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department, the US Capitol, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Biden addressed attempts by some Republican lawmakers to downplay or deny the violence of the insurrection.
“Americans, the tragedy of this day deserves the truth above all else. We cannot allow history to be rewritten. We cannot allow the heroism of these officers to be forgotten,” he said.
Harris called the officers heroes.
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