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tv   Medal of Honor Ceremony at White House  CSPAN  June 26, 2019 2:36am-3:02am EDT

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p.m. eastern, on c-span2. you can also listen to the live play-by-play on the c-span radio app. bestowed themp medal of honor on the iraq war first living recipient, army veteran david bella via. he was honored for his life-saving actions in the battle known as the second battle of fallujah back in 2004. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please join me as we mark the ceremony in prayer. the lord is my light and salvation in whom i shall fear. the lord is the stronghold of my life and who mouth shall be afraid.
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today we honor the spirit of a warrior that put others' safety above his own, and ran toward danger, meeting it face-to-face. we give thanks to staff sergeant david bellavia. his character, commitment, and courage were forged over a by his faith, his family, his friends, and a disciplined life of selfish devotion to duty. god bless david, his family, and his many comrades in arms this day. medal placed around his neck be an inspiration for all to place others over self. i praise these things in your most holy and gracious name. amen. much trump: thank you very .
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thank you, chaplain, very much. that's really beautiful. today it is my privilege to award the highest military honor to an american soldier who demonstrated exceptional courage to protect his men and attended -- and defend our nation. will you please join me in sergeant david bellavia. david, thank you. [cheers and applause] pres. trump: david is the first living recipient turn the congressional medal of honor for his bravery in the iraq war.
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[cheers and applause] honoredump: and we are to have with us distinguished leaders of our military. i want to recognize acting deputy secretary of defense david norquist. david, thank you and congratulations. acting secretary of the army ryan mccarthy. come here, ryan. let me just say hello to you. [laughter] pres. trump: it just happened yesterday, so i have to congratulate. vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general paul selman. thank you, paul. the army chief of staff general. and sergeant major of the army daniel daily. thanks as well to members of congress to join us,
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representative liz cheney. thanks, liz. chris collins. dan crenshaw. tom reed. thank you, tom. i see you over there. joining david for this special ceremony are his wife, deanna, and three children, evan, aidan, and vivian, along with his mother marilyn and his brothers daniel iran. i want to thank you all for being here. [applause] father,ump: david's william, passed away in 2017. we know that today he must be one of those proud dads. he is looking down upon us from
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heaven, very proud of his son and his son's family. finally, we are gratified to be joined by eight previous medal of honor recipients. i got to know just about all of them. you are forever with us. you are truly brave, great people. thank you very much for being here. brave people. [applause] david grew up in western new york, the youngest of four children. as a boy, he would listen to stories from his grandfather, a world war ii veteran and hero, who earned a bronze star in the normandy campaign. as david remembers, his werefather's stories always vivid, a source of pride, and delivered very beautifully.
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there was a nobility and purpose in the infantry, and david saw that at a young age. i wanted to be what my grandfather was, david would often say. i wanted to be part of this noble adventure. is that right? pretty good quote, would you say? better say yes, otherwise i have a problem. [laughter] pres. trump: in 1985, david joined the united states army and infantry. several months after the september 11 attack on our nation, david deployed, saying goodbye to his wife and son. he served in germany, kosovo, and then in iraq. in november of 2004, after nearly a year of intense enemy combat in iraq, david led his squad in battle to liberate the city of fallujah. this operation was the bloodiest
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battle of the iraq war. for three days straight, david kicked down doors, search houses, and destroyed enemy weapons, never knowing where they would find a terrorist lurking next. the third day of battle was november 10, david's 29th birthday. that night, his squad was tasked with clearing 12 houses occupied by insurgents. very dangerous operation. they entered house after house and secured nine of the buildings. tent, ae the three-story building surrounded by a nine-foot wall. as they entered the house and moved into the living room, two men were behind concrete barricades. they opened fire on everybody. brick and plaster flew into the air, wounding multiple soldiers. ripped holes fire
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into the wall, separating the americans from the terrorists. david knew they had to get out. david thought they had had it. he fired back at the enemy without even thinking. he just took over. fireovided suppressive while his men evacuated, rescuing his entire squad at the risk of his own life. only when his men were all out did david exit the building. but the fighting was far from over. diligence on the roof fired them down with round after deadly round. a vehicle came to the scene to suppress the enemy and drove them further into the building. knowing he would face almost certain death, david decided to go back in the house and make sure not a single terrorist escaped alive or in any way. he quickly encountered in
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insurgent who was about to fire a rocket propelled grenade at his squad. david once again jumped into danger and killed him before he had a chance to launch that grenade. next, two more insurgents came out of fighting and fired at david. he returned fire, killing them both. then a third assailant burst out of a wardrobe and opened fire. david shot and wounded the man, but he escaped up the stairs. racing after him, david engaged in hand-to-hand combat and killed him too. david had single-handedly defeated the forces who had attacked his unit and would have killed them all had it not been for the bravery of david. just then, yet another combatant jumped down from the third story roof and attacked. david shot him and the assailant fail off the balcony.
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david killeddark, four insurgents and seriously wounded a fifth, saving his soldiers and facing down the enemies of civilization. here with us today are 32 american service members who fought with david in iraq, including 12 who are with david on that very, very horrible and dangerous november night. please stand. [applause]
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pres. trump: did he do a good job? if not, it's not too late. thank you very much for being here. also with us are five families of david's brothers in arms who made the supreme sacrifice. families oftar sean, steven, scott, jc, and michael, our entire nation expresses our love, loyalty, and everlasting gratitude. please stand. [applause]
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pres. trump: thank you very much for being here. david often tells young people americans don't want to fight, but if someone picks a fight ,ith us, we will always win because we don't fight for awards or recognition. we fight for love, our country, our homeland, our family, and our unit, and that is stronger than anything the enemy has. thank you to you and to his family. david exemplifies the same warrior you those -- warrior at ethos that gave his grandfather the strength to defeat evil 75 years ago. i hear his grandfather is now watching the ceremony at his
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home in jamestown, new york. america is blessed with the heroes and great people like whosesergeant bellavia, unwavering resolve protects our freedoms and defends our great american flag. david, today we honor your extraordinary courage. we salute your selfless service, and we thank you for carrying on the legacy of american valor that has always made our blessed nation the strongest and mightiest anywhere in the world, and we are doing better today than we have ever done. our country is stronger now, and we are doing better economically than ever before. you fight for something that is really good, and we really appreciate it. and now i am very pleased to ask the military aid to come forward while i present the congressional medal of honor to staff sergeant david bellavia.
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please. [laughter] >> the president of the united states of america, authorized by act of congress, march 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of congress the medal of honor to staff sergeant david g. bellavia for intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. staff sergeant david g. bellavia disney wished himself by intrepidity above and beyond the -- distinguished
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himself by interview today above aboveyond -- intrepidity and beyond the call of duty. there was fire coming from a fortified position under the stairs leading to the second floor. recognizing the severity of the situation, and with disregard for his own safety, staff sergeant bellavia retrieved an automatic weapon to engage the insurgents. staff sergeant bellavia fired at the enemies at a sicko like rate allowedcyclic rate that the soldiers to escape the house. however, due to high walls surrounding the house, he could not fire at the enemy position. bellavia reentered the house and came under intense enemy fire. -- and insurgent was ready to launch a rocket propelled grenade at his platoon. staff sergeant bellavia assaulted the enemy position,
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killing one insurgent and wounding another who ran to a different part of the house. staff sergeant bellavia, realizing he had an unclear, darkened room to his back, moved to clear it. and insurgent fired at him. simultaneously, the previously wounded insurgent reemerged and engaged staff sergeant bellavia. staff sergeant bellavia returned fire and eliminated both insurgents. bellavia then received enemy fire from another insurgent, emerging from a closet in a darkened room. staff sergeant bellavia pursued the enemy up the stairs and eliminated him. now on the second floor, bellavia moved to a door that opened onto the roof. at this point, a fifth insurgent left from the third floor roof onto the second floor roof. bellavia engaged the insurgent through the window, wounding him in the back and legs and causing him to fall off the roof. acting on instinct to save the members of his platoon, bellavia
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ultimately cleared an entire house, destroyed four insurgents, and badly wounded a fifth. bravery, complete disregard for his own safety, and unselfish actions are keeping within the finest traditions of military service and reflect rate credit upon himself and the nine states army -- upon himself and the united states army. [cheers and applause]
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on up here, come fellas. come on up.
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[applause]
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please join me. most holy god, as we go through
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this place, let this ceremony be a reminder of your faithfulness and a challenge to us all to live a life of courage and honor , placing the needs of others first. thank you for the life of staff sergeant david bellavia. may his life be an inspiration for each of us. bless our nation and keep the lamp of liberty burning bright. and you're most gracious name i pray, amen -- in your most gracious name i pray, amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until the president has departed the east room. thank you. ♪ ["god bless america" plays]
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[applause] announcer: wednesday, the house oversight and reform committee
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holds a hearing on the office of special counsel's recommendation that president trump fire white house counselor kellyanne conway for alleged violations of the hatch act. the hatch act is a federal law that limits certain political activities by executive branch employees. watch live tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, online at c-span.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. male, and i am prejudiced. the reason it is is something i wasn't taught, but something that i learned. i don't like to be forced to like people. i like to be led to like people through example. what can i do to change, to be a better american? >> that was a remarkable moment. i did not really realize it until i stepped off the set. there were more calls after that
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, how powerful it was. there was something in his voice that touched me. it was so authentic, as he searches for the words to say something theunday night on q&a, president of the public policy organization demos was a guest on washington journal in august of 2016 when gary called. she talked about the interaction and her follow-up. >> part of the reason for that is this is august. we have had this sort of racially charged moment with donald trump's campaign, black lives matter, police shootings. tragic events in baton rouge and dallas. it was a time where people felt like all they were seeing on tv about race was bad news. here was first a white man admitting that he was
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prejudiced, which for people of color, we finally go finally. >> on c-span's q&a. complete guide to congress is now available. it has lots of details about the house and senate for the current session of congress. contact and bio information about every senator and information. plus, information about congressional committees, state governors and the cabinet. the 2018 congressional directory. order your copy from the c-span online store. >> earlier today, the house debated a measure that provides $4.5 billion in emergency spending for humanitarian aid and security at the u.s. southern border. the bill was approved by the house 230-195. the gentlewoman from

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