Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who protected lawmakers from violent insurgents in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 20201, in a violent attack that left five people dead, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on Friday for his heroism.
Goodman was in the back of the room and had been standing guard during the impeachment trial when Congress greeted him with a standing ovation. It is the highest honor the governing body can bestow.
“Here in this trial, we saw a new video, powerful video showing calmness under pressure, his courage in the line of duty, his foresight in the midst of chaos and his willingness to make himself a target of the mob’s rage so that others might reach safety,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) said before recognizing Goodman.
The former Army infantryman who served in one of the most dangerous parts of Iraq during the war never sought attention or fame, according to media interviews with veterans who served alongside him 15 years ago.
While the recognition is well deserved, the same Republican senators who unanimously voted to award Goodman his medal betrayed him the very next day by acquitting Donald Trump. They have their lives and the preservation of our democracy to thank him for, yet, less than 24 hours later, they turned their backs on him and all the other Capitol Police who bravely fought back the angry mob.
There are no words for their hypocrisy, and I'm sure it's neither lost on Goodman nor the world.
Emily Cardenas is the executive editor of The Miami Times. She previously worked as a producer at WTXF in Philadelphia and at WSCV, WFOR and WPLG in Miami.