President Donald Trump on Monday awarded the country’s highest award for public safety to six Ohio police officers who reacted quickly to gunfire last month in Dayton.

The president also honored five Americans for risking their lives when a gunman opened fire inside a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, in August.

During a ceremony at the White House East Room, President Trump acknowledged the “eleven extraordinary American heroes.”

“These incredible patriots responded to the worst violence and most barbaric hatred with the best of American courage, character, and strength,” said President Trump.

“Faced with grave and harrowing threats, the men and women standing behind us stepped forward to save the lives of their fellow Americans,” he said. “Few people could have done and even would have done what they did.”

The six police officers confronted the shooter “within 32 seconds of the start of the attack.”

“These six officers ended the violent rampage and saved countless lives,” said the president.

“It is my immense honor to award the Medal of Valor to those law enforcement heroes: Sergeant William Knight and officers Brian Rolfes, Jeremy Campbell, Vincent Carter, Ryan Nabel, and David Denlinger,” he said.

“We are in awe of your swift response, sterling professionalism, and rock solid nerves of steel. On behalf of our entire nation, we thank you for your remarkable and heroic actions in the line of duty and we just want to thank you so much. What a great job you’ve done. Thank you very much,” said President Trump.

The president fastened the Medal of Valor around the necks of the police officers during the award ceremony.

Instituted by law in 2001, the Medal of Valor signifies the nation’s highest public safety award.

Nine people were killed in the shooting incident while over two dozens were wounded in the early morning attack on Aug. 4 in a busy entertainment area in Ohio.

President Trump presented a Certificate of Commendation to each of the five civilians for helping others to escape when a gunman opened fire inside a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 3. Twenty-two were killed and many wounded in the shooting incident.

“In the darkest moments of danger and despair, God calls the bravest to action,” said the president, as he thanked the 11 Americans for risking their lives to save fellow Americans.

“These eleven individuals answered the call. They stared down evil. They put love of neighbor above life itself and we are blessed by their courage, we are honored by their presence, we are overwhelmed by their example and we are forever inspired by the goodness of their hearts, the grace of their souls and the enduring greatness of their deeds,” said President Trump during the ceremony.

The two shootings, just hours apart, triggered a nation-wide debate over gun control, a topic on the congressional agenda as it returned to session on Monday.

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