tv U.S. Capitol Police Medal of Honor Ceremony CSPAN November 21, 2017 10:09am-11:01am EST
congressional a small practice shooting in june were awarded the medal of honor, a ceremonious capital earlier this month. house majority whip steve scalise think think the officer saving his life. >> good morning and welcome to united states capitol police medal of honor ceremony. i am matthew for derosa, , chief of police. assistant chief and irr to host this ceremony to recognize the many heroes in our midst who faced danger on a baseball field in alexandria, virginia, on jun. to officially start the program would everyone please rise for the presentation of the colors by united states capitol police ceremonial unit, the singing of the national anthem is performed by sergeant david nelson at ane opening prayer offered by reverend pat conroy, chaplain in i states house of representatives.
>> let us pray. god of mercy, , we gather this morning to recognize the men and women in blue, both of the u.s. capitol police and the alexandria police department who responded to the ultimate call in their noble profession, and executed their charge with exemplary courage. special agents krystal greiner and david bailey, officers nicole, alexander jensen and kevin joby our heroes to their colleagues and to all in the u.s. capital and the city of alexandria. for the rapid response to a cowardly attack upon the republican baseball team, which was dangerously exposed on a
quiet neighborhood ballfield. thanks to their selfless actions placing themselves in mortal danger, all present that they are with us this day to spy tey to the presence of courageous men and women in our midst. bless them with all your graciousness as the medal of honor is bestowed upon them here. may they and their families and loved ones know of our appreciation for the sacrifices they make every day so the security of the capital and the city of alexandria is guaranteed. and may we all be inspired to service of others as we are able to express it in our lives and work. and we pray in your most holy name. amen. >> colorguard.
>> please be seated. thank you very much. honored guests, members of congress, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to today's ceremony. this morning is an opportunity for our department to recognize five heroic police officers arrest their lives to protect members of congress in citizens during an active shooter incident. of the paths of muscle come to learn much about this incident and somethings may never be known, however. on june 14, it was a day to change the lives of many people and we can all take great comfort in the fact that for the actions of these officers and
the many individuals involved in this event, numerous lives were saved, and tragedies were prevented. what i do know about june 14 is that the bravery of these police officers makes me proud to be chief of police. i know that alexandria chief michael brown feels the same way but his outstanding offices of will. as someone once said bravery is not the absence of fear. its it's action in the face of . later today the department will also be recognizing the heroic actions of others involved in this incident and excellent work of those who responded to the scene as well as those involved in the detailed investigation, an attempt to bring closure to this incident. however, today the purpose of the ceremony is to award these five law enforcement officers seated here with our departments highest honor medal of valor. it's heartwarming to know that that operate individuals who embody what is right about america, and more specifically what you write about law
enforcement. these are people who we owe a great debt and a ride to work alongside such brave women and men. then musician jafar wade noted heroes are good people who make themselves extraordinary. i couldn't agree more. these certified unassuming people who acted in an extraordinary way when fate brought them together on june 14. it's now my pleasure to invite guests to say a few words. i'd like welcome the democratic leader of the house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi to the podium. >> thank you very much, chief. tanks to you and assistant chief for bring us together this morning so that we can appropriately acknowledge, not that it's enough but an expression of our appreciation. so do you, thank you. it's honor to be here with the speaker of the democratic and republican leaders of the
senate, chuck schumer and mitch mcconnell, to express the appreciation of all of the members of congress, house and senate, democratic and republican. it is a deep honor to join you to honor the heroes of the tragic congressional baseball shooting in alexandria this past june. we are also pleased to be with representative steve scalise, our colleague whose recovery is a blessing to us all, to seem healthy and walking is to see our prayers answered. we thank jennifer and his children madison and harrison for the constant love and support that have made his recovery so possible. thank you. it's also a produced beer with zach regards, matthew in the garage republican baseball team, coach of joe barton and manager roger williams. on behalf of my colleagues we congratulate you on your well-deserved medal of merit. we are in awe of your courage in
the face of that despicable attack and commend the sport and since of committee of show each other as you and your colleagues recover. i know that i can say on behalf of the democratic baseball team, they are so proud of all of you. during these two years as president of the board of new york city police commissioners, theater roosevelt he would do so many of us said it was his great honor to single out men then, men, for special mention because of some feet of heroism. today we had the honor of singling out five euros, men and women, in of their extraordinary bravery. reverend conroy mentioned in earlier but i think that we cannot say their names enough. special agent david bagley, special agent crystal griner, officer nicole battaglia, officer alexander jensen, an officer kevin jobe.
for facing in danger for selflessness and meeting violence with courage we are also grateful to figure heroism and grace under pressure is an inspiration to us all. many of us remember the exact ak capitol police he rose nearly 20 years ago. on that afternoon, officer jacob and detective john gibson were brutally gunned down in the line of duty. today as a celibate the heroes of the alexandria attack we must also mark the service and sacrifice of those to break men. let us recall the words of the new testament, greater love hath no man that a a man lay down hs life for his friends. there is no greater love than the service that officer jacob chestnut and detective john gibson gave to our nation that date. and so when we honor them and we honor our special heroes today we are paying our respect to all
of the members of the capitol police, house and senate. to each of you, our recognition of the bravery that we've seen is recognition of the risk that you take to make the capital of the united states and those who serve here both as members of congress or the senate but also as staff, as press and our visitors who come to see our great democracy in action. so to each and every member of the capitol police, thank you. to all of our -- those who defend this cabinetry thank you again for your courage, patriotism and service. each stage except duties that demand selflessness and bravery, working long hours and putting yourselves in great risk for others. every day you serve the members of congress come for dignitaries, staff members and visitors across the world are safe and secure. your patriotism and service reminds us that as members of congress, house and senate, of our own responsibility to make a
better future for all. we are profoundly grateful to you for making that happen. thank you and god bless you. [applause] >> thank you, leader pelosi. we really appreciate those kind words. now joining us is a a democratc leader of the united states standard, the honorable charles schumer. well, thank you, chief verderosa and who all are about to be honored with either the medal of merit or the medal of honor. i salute you all. the capitol police devote themselves entirely to the safety of members of congress and the public who visit our buildings daily. every morning for many women of the capitol police, like all police, under uniform, pray for the kind of the day the rest of us typically enjoy, a routine
one. most days, praise god, this isn't the case. but on the rare and terrible exception, capitol police asked to put own lives at risk in the defense of others. i recall the tragedy in 1998 when officers jacob chestnut and john gibson gave their lives ensuring safety for the capital. our purpose is to honor the bravery of the officers who recently met the call of duty under the most horrific of circumstances. officers who woke up one ordinary morning to escort majority whip scalise to an early baseball practice where they were met by an unexpected and unhinged attacker. armed with weapons of war. officers whose decisive action propelled by an instinctual courage in selflessness averted
tragedy and saved lives. the horror of june 14, 2017, will forever stick in my mind. that an individual with fire upon members of congress practicing for a charity baseball game. we are so fortunate for capitol police officers crystal griner and david bailey, alexandria officers nicole battaglia, alexander jensen and kevin jobe. that morning they, you, heroism personified. and we're the ones who are honored to present you with the medal of merit and the medal of honor. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, senator schumer. next please tune in welcoming the honorable mitch mcconnell to make his remarks.
>> thank thank you, chief. today is another chance for each of us to both recognize and thank the men and women of our capitol police force for everything they do to protect our nation's capital, the people who work here and the millions who visit this important symbol of our democracy. the united states capitol police stand as confident guard to put in service before self. they are deserving of our deepest respect. they earn our unyielding gratitude. each and every day i have the opportunity to interact with these law enforcement officers. they always exhibit professionalism, diligence, and service. i've had the privilege of working with some of them for many years. i i know them. i am incredible thankful to each of them for their dedication. in addition to the capitol police we are also pleased to
honor the many other law enforcement agencies that responded to that alexandria park on june 14 when our own members and staff were under attack. these men and women we are honoring today ran toward the threat and stopped it. and we can't ever thank them enough. when most of us leave home for work on a given day, we have any number of things on our minds, meetings, deadlines, tasks to be accomplished. with a law-enforcement officer walks out the door they never know for sure what a day can bring. and neither do their families. and yet they walk out the door just the same because for them what they do is more than just a job or a career. it's a calling. we are so grateful that they do. to underline the point, one need only say this.
it's so great to see steve scalise with us here today. [applause] along a course with the other members and staff were on the field that day. and truly what a blessing that is, the many women of law enforcement go out each day to face the unknown to help and assist people in their community to confront challenges that others simply would not. why do they do it? courage, duty, honor. that's what i think. on behalf of the senate family and the capitol community i would like to once again share a simple message with the men and women against dates capitol police and the alexandria leased department for their harrowing efforts that day. simple though it may be, it is a sincere and enduring thank you.
[applause] >> thank you, senator mcconnell. now it's my honor to welcome a speaker at the house, the honorable paul ryan. >> thank you, chief. and thank you to all of our capitol police, and local law enforcement. we want you to know that you and your families, they mean so much to us. for many of us you are family to us, and to our families. to see these officers get their due, this really is another milestone in our collective recovery. even as we have tried to go back to normal, we see that we're so close to losing so many of our friends. seeing steve buzzing around on his scooter makes us feel so grateful. we even route for lsu when it
doesn't conflict with her own interest. i know these officers will say that they were doing just their jobs. but we would not be doing ours if we did that move forward without saluting these heroes. your bravery and god's grace brought us together in those first difficult hours. there is one story from june 14th that i want to share with you quickly. it was about 4:00 in the afternoon that day, an agent bailey came into my office to see me. that day, 4:00. he was on his crutches. his pants were torn. he had his back pocket with, same close. we said that in my office and talked for about ten minutes or so. bailey is kind of call me walked me through for about ten minutes what had happened. here i was just jumping on the edge of my chair still thinking about steve, thinking that crystal, think about matt micha. i realize that bailey was putting me at ease. he was reassuring me.
except for the two things i mentioned, the crutches and the ritz close, you would've had no idea that just a couple hours earlier, a few hours earlier that day this man's life was in danger. he was the same quiet smiling levelheaded guy that we know. and i just have to say come from talking all the members of the baseball team that day, hearing their stories, walking through exactly what the experience and saw happen, it is so crystal clear that so many lives would have been taken that day if it were not for these five people. [applause] this medal honors actions taken to save lives in the face of danger.
may honor the grace and selflessness that his opposition in the days and weeks after as well. they sought the spotlight. they never do that. but that quiet professionalism, that courage, it's their training, it is a code that we can all learn from it and truly draw some inspiration from it. it is what united as after this attack. it is how we've emerged stronger as a family. i think i think it's how we areg stronger as an institution, this branch of government. so just on behalf of all of us here in congress, the country and congress as an institution, thank you for saving the lives of our friends. we will always be in your debt. thank you. [applause] >> thank you mr. speaker. before i present our first award
i would like to three special presentations. first, i'd like to invite the coach and mentor of the republican team, represented joe barton, representative roger williams to join on center stage. the department would like to present congressman barton and williams on behalf of the entire republican baseball team the medal of merit. this medal is awarded to citizen for a number of reasons, among them is for demonstrating courage in an emergency. in recognition of heroism and bravery displayed -- by members,
colleagues, and friends on the practice field during the alexandria shooting incident on june 14, 2017, as well as providing immediate aid and lifesaving measures to those who were wounded as a result of the shooting i present the team the medal of merit. [applause] >> many thanks to both of you. next i would doubt ask matt mika to join the for a special presentation. department like to present you with united states capitol police medal of merit.
>> congratulations, guys, and we are happy to see a recovery is going so well. finally, at this time i would ask that congressman steve scalise join me at center stage. the next medal goes to represent the school is for his remarkable courage under fire as well as determination to come back from the critical injuries he sustained the i know i speak for everyone when a safe we are very glad to have you here with us today, sir. in recognition of your bravery in the face of a life-threatening active shooter and for injuries sustained during alexandria shooting incident occurring on june 14, the medal of merit. [applause]
>> really want to thank everybody for coming out to pay tribute to the police officers who sacrifice their lives for us. so often you don't see the heroism and the bravery and the professionals and because they quietly do their job. but they do their job every day knowing that may be one day they might have to respond to some kind of tragedy. we see tragedy before. you look at what happened in sutherland springs. our prayers still go out to those families, 26 bed. you look at the shooting in las
vegas, where so many lives were lost and so many are still fighting for their lives. that day on june 14 could have turned out the exact same way. we all know. what the outcome would have been if not for the heroism and the bravery of the many women on this stage. crystal and david, they are like family to jennifer and tiger as part of our security detail, they go with us, not just year at the capital but when we go back home, we were traveling around and just doing the things you got to do in this job. they are there every step of the way and always know that there's going to time just like the rest of our security detail if they have to respond. that day, nobody saw it coming. acting on a baseball field, and when the shots went out, it wasn't long before they jump in
and just did some things that nobody could describe when you look at the firepower that was coming at them, heavily outgunned. and yet they went towards the danger. nicole and alexander and kevin, they came running towards the danger, too. and these five brave men and women prevented what would've been a mass execution. a lot of members of congress that are here today wouldn't be here today. i wouldn't be here today without the heroism and their bravery. i do want to mention, i know tiffany, crystals why this year, tiffany, thank you. i know you're providing great care to crystal and if so great to see crystal without her boot on now so she's getting closer, she keeps challenging me. actually inspired me to get these crutches pick and that she went down to one crutch and now she's down to no crutches and no boot. i'm so glad to see you getting so much better than what do you
read back to work, and david, tiger blood. we've always had this unique bond, and he knows what that means that it embodies everything that they represent. you know, to go towards the danger. i do want to mention that david's mom came in from brazil. thank you so much for coming. [applause] i know every mom is proud of her children, but just know, your son, your son saved lives of over a dozen members of congress and the staff and out on that ball field that day. if you would not have went towards the danger, confronted the shooter, the outcome
would've been in kindly different. it would've been a horrible tragedy worse we could imagine, but it wasn't. it wasn't because of the heroism of your son. i know you're proud of them on a regular basis but no he is a hero to all of us. and thank you for coming here from brazil. emily is a treat to see you. -- it really is a treat to see you. [applause] i just want to thank everybody for coming out and participate in this. i truly want to thank the united states capitol police per i know you have training and everybody trains for a tragedy, but clearly the training that you put your officers through give them the skills they needed that day to save the lives of so many others. and so i truly appreciate all of our capitol police, all of my security. but i ask all of my security detail to stand up? they don't like the limelight, but they all protect our families. they protect all of us. [applause] and we thank you.
so before i start tearing up, i really just, , here today becaue of the heroism of these brave men and women. thank you so much for your sacrifice, for putting your lives on the line. and it's great to see you all back here. we're all getting better, and again, this could of any tragedy like so many others and it wasn't because of their heroism. thank you for paying the tribute this highest honor the medal of honor for these brave men and women. thank you all for being here. [applause] >> thank you, congressman scalise. at this time i like to ask chief brown to join on stage next to officer jensen, the assistant chief to assist with the presentation. it's now my great pleasure to introduce five outstanding brave
law-enforcement officers. when i call your name if you all please stand up. special agent crystal griner. special agent david bailey. officer kevin jobe. officer nicole battaglia. officer alexander jensen. the united states capitol police medal of honor is the department-award and has been awarded only a handful of times in 189 year history. it bestowed upon the department employees who have exhibited great courage who voluntarily risked their lives in the performance of an act resulted in the direct benefit of others or the united states capitol police. historically, this award is reserved only for u.s. capitol police officers. however, june 14, the heroic efforts performed by these officers transcended uniform colors and department names. so as chief i'm making the executive decision to also recognize of these 31st responders from the alexandria police as well as our two
special agents. i think we all remember that sunday morning of wednesday, june 14, 2017. special agent griner and special agent bailey, protect the division assigned to protect house majority leader steve scalise your congressman scalise was at the eugene simpson stadium parking alexandria practicing for the upcoming charity baseball game with approximately 25 members of the republican team, which included several, , numerous members of commerce, several staff and family. at approximately 7:06 a.m. and ascendant emerge from the parking lot new field walking up to the fence on the third base side. he had in possession a 7.62-millimeter caliber rifle and a nine-millimeter handgun. at approximately 7:09 a.m. the assailant opened fire on the members on the field and staff who were practicing. in response to these gunshots, special agents radioed for assistance and immediately
engaged the assailant with department issued handguns and effort to pin him down and prevent them from getting to the field and injuring more people. during the gunbattle special agent griner was shot in the lower leg with a rifle round. i continue to return fire to try to stop the shooter as you maintain cover near her assigned vehicle. at that time special agent bailey also engaged the shooter by returning fire. special agent bailey was injured by shell fragments in his ankle during the engagement. the initial engagement of the shooter by special agent bailey and griner while are being tard themselves as well fended off the gunmen for confronting an unarmed group and bought precious time. by 7:12 a.m. but for for unison alexandria police department arrived, and these three alexandria officers joined the gunbattle. officer kevin joe was a first responder as he exited his vehicle he came under fire and without cover crossed a large open area to a special agent bailey was positioned. seconds later, officer battaglia
and officer jensen were arriving at the field. upon arrival officer battaglia jumped out of her vehicle, moved towards the shooter and initially took fire from the suspect. officer battaglia took cover behind the structure and was pinned down, diverting the shooters attention from the other officers and victims on the field. when officer alexander jensen a ride on the scene is able to take cover behind his vehicle and engage it issued in an exchange of gunfire he was able to strike him causing the shooter to partially collapse and drop his assault rifle. the shooter then retrieved his pistol, stood up and begin firing at officer battaglia. with the shooters attention diverted, officer jobe and agent bailey then moved towards the shooter tried him towards home plate. this exposed to come into fire and he was struck in the chest by one of the agents rounds. the force of this round cause the shooter to rotate a way and places left side and officer
jensen slight aside while bailey and jobe were engaging the suspect from front, officer jensen ames and fired causing the should drop his weapon. the entire event was over at 7:15 a.m. officer jobe and agent bailey began life-saving measure on the suspect to you later succumbed to his wounds. during the attack, the assailant shot for individual, , congressn scalise, special agent bailey, congressional aide sacked mark and matt mica. all thankful you are recovering well from their injuries. the brave and selfless acts that these five law-enforcement professionals are credited with saving numerous lives that day due to their baroque engagement of the active shooter was able to fire more than 60 rounds, rifle rounds, and eight handgun rounds during the six minute gunbattle. when all five of you please join me at center stage?
the public an outpouring that has come for these officers for their gratitude. certainly it was an extraordinary event and we certainly have extraordinary offices appear on stage. i patted these agents and officers. they truly represent what's good about america and what's good about law enforcement. now, if you would all please remain standing for the closing prayer, i would like to welcome doctor black, chaplain of the united states senate, to the podium. >> let us pray. eternal god, the giver and sustainer of life, the destiny toward whom all life flows, we thank you for this award ceremony, for those who have demonstrated exemplary courage and commitment to freedom.
lord, we are grateful that in our day you have given us the opportunity to see he rose and heroines proved in liberating strife. who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life. lord, we have been reminded today that no greater love exists than a willingness to lay down one's life for others. oh god, i ask for these reward recipients, your richest blessings, and all of their tomorrow's less than keep them and their loved ones. make your face to shine upon them, and be gracious to them.
lift the light of your continent upon them and give them your shalom, your piece. we pray, in your sovereign name. amen. thank you, doctor black. ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our program for today. thank you, everyone, for joining us and helping us celebrate with these five officers. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> c-span, where history unfold daily.
in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable-television companies and is brought today by your cable or satellite provider. >> tonight on our companion network c-span, former vice president joe biden and our governor john kasich on partisanship in the trump era. >> but to some degree the politics today is a manifestation of the politics that's been brewing for a long time. i mean, i remember the board hearing spear i remember you on the committee turkey file raucous and how they were. and then we went through an impeachment and then we went through, you know, the republican revolution and we saw jim wright driven out and be fully driven out. and then we saw the republicans when the house for the first time in 40 years, and democrats kind of said no, you never one.
we're going to just bite you. it's really a proximal houses the you write about the guy who light of the present july. next they put out a fundraising letter to raise money off of it. so the system itself has been breaking down because of base politics. >> but i was recently with one prime minister in europe. i went over to speak at a conference and you wanted to see me, and so i thought it was a courtesy call. and i thought it would last ten minutes. it lasted two and half hours. 1. this prime minister said, and did you see what he did? were sitting on the same side of the conference table as close as you on our company said, he stood up and he said he took the president and shoved him aside and stuck his chest out and his chin and all i could think of was, -- not a joke. not a joke.
that's what people are thinking. that's what people are thinking. violating the norms of personal conduct, generates more anxiety and fear than any policy prescription that this president has enunciated. >> you watch this entire discussion from the biden institute at university of delaware tonight on c-span starting at eight eastern. >> the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals to a group we recently stopped in austin, texas, asking folks what's the most important issue in their state. >> in texas the most important thing to me is of something texas would get rid of unnecessary and burdensome occupational regulations. >> i believe the most important issue is tax reform for women
outdated texas and and we need to get that changed every american can have the best opportunity as possible. >> i think one of the most important issues possibly the most important issue facing texans and washington is transparency in government. i don't think they can be enough of it, and i don't think that our leaders could ever do enough to be more transparent in terms of not only their own activities and behavior, but i think also the kinds of records that are used in government need to see the light of day, and that the citizens of texas deserve to know what is going on in washington. >> the most important issue for the state of texas is educational choice. every parent has a right to direct their kids education and hopefully we get a bill passed next session. >> voices from the states on c-span.
the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., november 21, 2017 . to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable luther strange, a senator from the state of alabama, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 11:00 a.m. on friday, november 24, 2017.