WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden on Friday will mark the 2nd anniversary of the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by honoring a dozen people who made "exemplary contributions to our democracy."
Those receiving the Presidential Citizens Medal include Caroline Edwards, the first law enforcement officer injured by rioters, and Shaye Moss, an election worker in Georgia who said she received so many death threats and racist taunts she changed her appearance and went into hiding.
Many of the recipients had delivered some of the most gripping testimony during the congressional investigation into the attacks.
Edwards said she was "slipping in people’s blood." Ruby Freeman, Moss's mother who also helped count Georgia's votes, said she left her home for two months on the FBI's advice.
“There is nowhere I feel safe,” Freeman testified. “Nowhere."
The White House said the law enforcement officials, election workers, and state and local officials being honored are heroes because they showed courage and selflessness when the nation was in peril.
This is the first time Biden has awarded the Citizens Medal, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors.
Here's who will be recognized at the White House Friday:
Law enforcement officers:
In addition to Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury as she tried to prevent rioters from entering the Capitol, six other officers are receiving the Citizens Medal.
U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn
faced off with rioters outside the Capitol who used a racial slur after learning he voted for Biden.
Former D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone
was beaten unconscious and suffered a heart attack on Jan. 6. Fanone said he pleaded for his life when a rioter took his gun and suggested killing him with it.
Former U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell
suffered career-ending injuries to his shoulder and foot.
Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman
diverted rioters away from the Senate floor while lawmakers were still evacuating.
D.C. Police Officer Daniel Hodges
was bashed in the head, kicked in the chest, and sprayed with a chemical irritant during the riot, among other assaults. One attacker told him he would “die on your knees.”
Brian Sicknick, a U.S. Capitol Police officer
, died after suffering strokes the day after the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Moss handled voter applications and absentee ballot requests in Fulton County, Georgia, and helped process the vote count on Election Day 2020. Former President Donald Trump and his allies falsely accused Moss and Freeman of exchanging a USB drive full of bogus votes. It was not a USB port, Moss testified. It was a ginger mint.
Three state and local officials who resisted pressure to overturn election results will be honored.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson
faced armed Trump supporters who protested in front of her house, calling her a “tyrant” and a “felon.”
Rusty Bowers, who served as the Arizona House speaker
during the 2020 election, refused Trump's request to hold a legislative committee hearing on the false claim that votes cast by illegal immigrants and dead people swung Arizona's results to Biden.
Al Schmidt, who served on the Philadelphia County Board of Elections
, was singled out by Trump for not investigating what Trump falsely called a "mountain of corruption & dishonesty." The tweet, Schmidt testified, prompted a stream of graphic threats that not only targeted him, but also members of his family, with pictures of his home and address posted on social media.