The Purple Heart Foundation prides itself in recognizing military service members throughout the years. The United States military, law enforcement and first responders are an essential part of this country as they give their lives for our freedom and our safety. This past year has been very tough for
everyone due to COVID-19, but it has been especially hard on our essential workers. The Purple Heart Foundation would like to extend a heart-warming thank you to these guardians for protecting our freedom and ensuring our safety. During this Black History Month, we recognize Eugene Goodman for his heroic efforts on Jan 6, 2020 during the attack on the capital building.
Eugene Goodman was born and raised in the Southside of Washington D.C. in the 1980’s. Goodman had humble upbringings and graduated from Central High School in Capitol Heights in 1999. Many of his teachers have come out expressing how truly proud they are of him. They described him as a quiet, helpful, and well-mannered student. It is said that, without even knowing it, he took on the role of peacekeeper at a young age by breaking up fights in the lunchroom on occasion. “To save this country, I mean for this person to save this country, I just feel so connected,” one of his teachers, Mr. Banks, expressed through tears.
Not long after, Goodman joined the United States Army, serving from 2002 to 2006. During his time in service, he was part of the 101 st Airborne Division, serving in the Iraq War. He left the military as a Sergeant to later join US Capitol Police in 2008. His former unit XVII Airborne Corps said he was a hero long before the incident on Jan 6. He is truly a guardian of his city, from a very young age.
On Jan 6 th , 2021, our Democracy was attacked by rioters. Shock and disbelief are among some of the reactions that most people had, as everyone watched live on national television as the United States
Capitol building was being breached. At the time, both the House and Senate Chambers we’re in the middle of certifying the official win of President elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris.
The world watched in shock and prayed for the safety of everyone inside as the unimaginable happened at the Capitol that day. It seemed like a movie that went on for hours. All those defending our democracy that day are heroes, but after getting a closer look at personal videos, security footage and more, one hero stood out, and his name was Eugene Goodman.
As Goodman saw the rioter’s approach his location, without a doubt, he took matters into his own hands and tried to diverge the crowd in front of him away from the Senate Chamber while calling for back up in another part of the Capitol. Eugene used himself as bate, knowing that they were only feet away from the Senate Chambers where Vice President Mike Pence and over 100 other officials prepared for the worst. Eugene Goodman’s actions that day may have save their lives, and for that he was recognized worldwide, and awarded the Army’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Both Republican and Democratic politicians, have commended Goodman for single-handedly taking action and preventing a bigger tragedy than what they had already been living.
Following the incident on Jan 6 th , 2021, Eugene Goodman’s actions that day have been highly recognized worldwide, and for those actions was awarded the Army’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Lawmakers have also proposed a bill to award Capital Police Officer Eugene Goodman with the Congressional Gold Medal; one of the highest awards a civilian can receive. As grateful as he is, it is reported that he is also afraid he might be targeted by extremists and said he would do the exact same thing again. During the Presidential Inauguration, Goodman got to escort Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to the stage. He was promoted to Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate and was announced as such during the Inauguration where he received a standing ovation.
Eugene Goodman has become a household name since that very day. His courageous actions protected not only the people inside the U.S. Capital building, but also everything it stands for, as a symbol of democracy which is the very base of our country. Eugene Goodman goes down in history not
only as a great human being but as a guardian of the city of Washington D.C. The Purple Heart Foundation is proud to recognize him as an outstanding member of society for his selfless acts, not only on Jan 6th but throughout his career. Men and women like Eugene, are the ones that keep our country safe and give us the freedom we take for granted every day. So, we thank you, Eugene Goodman, for your bravery, valor, and lifetime of service to this great nation.