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Donald Trump presents Public Safety Officer Medal of Honor

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President Donald Trump presents a Medal of Valor to Ohio State University officer Alan Horujko in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

May 22 (UPI) — President Donald Trump praised the “immortal acts of courage” of 14 first responders who received the Public Safety Officer Medal of Honor on Wednesday afternoon at the White House.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor presented to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.

“Every officer, firefighter and first responder who receives this award embodies the highest ideals of service and sacrifice, character and courage, love and loyalty,” Trump said. “Your lives of patriotism, your devotion to duty and your deeds of valor lift up our entire nation.”

The recipients included Memphis police Sgt. Verdell Smith Sr.; Azusa, Calif., police Lt. Xavier Torres (retired), Sgt. Seth Chapman, Sgt. Terry Smith Jr. (retired), Sgt. Thomas Avila III, Sgt. Rocky Wenrick, Cpl. Andrew Rodriguez Sr., senior officer Carlos Plascencia and Detective Manuel Campos; Ohio State University police officer Alan Horujko; Oregon State Police senior trooper Nicholas Cederberg; Lenexa, Kan., fire Capt. Dustin Moore and firefighter paramedic Andrew Freisner; and Dallas police officer Brent Thompson.

Verdell Smith Sr. and Thompson’s medals were presented posthumously to their families.

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