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Medals to honor Jan. 6 Responders: "This attack occurred"

The bill passed voice vote without objections. It will include four medals that will be displayed at the Capitol Police Headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department and the Smithsonian Institution.

The attack enraged hundreds of officers from both police departments. Several were injured and beat by former President Donald Trump's supporters as they pushed past them to enter the building to stop the certification of Biden’s victory. After the police and National Guard troops cleared the building, the count was resumed.

The medals will be displayed for people to remember and understand what the officers did, Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Chair of Senate Rules Committee, stated in an interview with The Associated Press just before she requested that the bill be passed.

Klobuchar, who introduced the legislation, stated that children of the future would be able see the Smithsonian medals and hear their parents say: "This happened. This attack happened."

After 21 House Republicans voted against it in June, some of which objected to the bill's language referring to a "mob insurrectionists", Senate passage was achieved. Trump and many Republicans who are still loyal to him have tried to downplay the rioting and rebrand it to be peaceful protest. However, law enforcement officers who responded that day have described the violence and the toll it has had on them. Last week, four officers testified in Congress about their mental and physical injuries.

There were no objections from the Senate Republicans. Missouri Senator Roy Blunt was the top Republican on the Senate Rules Panel. He said that the medals "recognize" "the selflessness and dedication of those who stand up to danger." Blunt stated that he hopes the medals will "a clear message of appreciation" to both departments.

There were at least nine deaths during and after the rioting. This included a woman shot and killed trying to enter the House chamber by police and three Trump supporters who had medical emergencies. In the days following the riots, two police officers committed suicide and another officer, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick fell and died while engaging in protests. The medical examiner concluded that he had died from natural causes.

The Metropolitan Police announced this week that two additional officers from their force who responded to the insurrection committed suicide. Officer Kyle DeFreytag, Officer and Gunther Hashida were both found dead at their homes on Thursday.

In a statement, the police stated that they were "distraught as a whole."

Although it's not clear what caused their deaths, lawmakers paid tribute to them on Jan. 6. Senator Susan Collins, R. Maine, stated that she sympathizes with the families of those officers who lost their lives.

Collins stated, "I hope that each one of us will take the time to express our gratitude to these brave men and women who work so hard to keep ourselves safe. Many of them still carry the emotional trauma and physical injuries of that dark day in the nation's history."

Klobuchar stated that she does not know the causes of the deaths of the officers in July but added that it was "not a coincidence".

She said that the suicides were "just another sad and tragic story about people who were there to protect us who clearly suffered from this day." It affected people.

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