On Thursday (Dec. 16), President Joe Biden awarded three soldiers the Medal of Honor, including Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe, the first Black soldier to receive the distinguishment since the Vietnam War, ABC News reports.
“Today, we honor three outstanding soldiers, whose actions embody the highest ideals of selfless service,” Biden said during the ceremony. “We also remember the high price our military members and their families are willing to pay on behalf of our nation.”
“We remember the strength and the sacrifices of these military families, caregivers, and survivors,” added the President. “And we remember and renew our sacred obligation to those who served this nation in uniform.”
Sgt. Cashe was killed 16 years ago while serving in Iraq. According to the White House, he sustained fatal injuries while rescuing fellow soldiers from a burning vehicle during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. Cashe was previously honored with the Silver Star however his battalion commander, Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, and other officers advocated for the highest decoration.
His widow accepted the medal on his behalf.
“We lost our brother. He can’t be replaced. But this award means that his name his legacy will go down in history,” said Sgt. Cashe’s sister Kasinal Cashe-White.
Biden also posthumously honored Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Celiz, an Army Ranger who died at 32 years old during a 2018 firefight in Afghanistan. Master Sgt. Earl Plumlee, a Special Forces soldier who fought off Taliban suicide bombers in Afghanistan in 2013 was the third soldier to receive the Medal Of Honor and attended the ceremony.
Watch the ceremony below.