Remarks as prepared for delivery.
I want to thank President Trump for hosting us—and, indeed, for being here. In the history of this award, it has been a very rare privilege to have the President present it in person. I think that his being here just shows this administration’s love and support for our first responders.
I also want to thank the President for holding up these brave Americans as examples for our country. They have a lot to teach us.
The most important thing that any government does is keep its citizens safe.
That’s why being a first responder is not just a job. This is not something you do to make a living. It is a commitment. It is a calling.
It requires great risk and sacrifice. It requires a great love for your community.
The men here today are some of the nation’s finest—the best of the best. The Medal of Valor is the highest national award that a public safety officer can receive. Out of the more than 1 million first responders across America, only a dozen receive this honor.
You’ve taken on terrorists and active shooters. You’ve rescued people from drowning and from fire. You have saved lives and you have changed lives.
You are the pride of our nation.
Having been in and around law enforcement for nearly 40 years, I know what our officers will say: “we were just doing our jobs.”
And that’s right. What you have achieved shows what a high and noble calling you really have.
When we honor you, we also honor all of your brothers and sisters—every public safety officer in America.
President Trump and all of us at the Department of Justice and in this government honor you, support you, and we have your backs.