Boston, MA – Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. signed into law H.R. 310, legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08) to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal – the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress - to the four heroic Americans killed in the September 11th, 2012 terrorist attack against the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically, the bill awards the Congressional Gold Medal to U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens; U.S. Navy Seal and C.I.A. security contractor, Glen Doherty; U.S. Navy Seal and C.I.A. security contractor, Tyrone Woods; and U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant and State Department Officer, Sean Smith.
“After more than a decade of collective effort in support of this important legislation, I am proud that H.R. 310 has been signed into law by President Biden,” said Rep. Lynch. “The enactment of this bill would not have been possible without the family members, pro bono counsel, and other stakeholders who relentlessly advocated on behalf of our four fallen heroes - in recognition of their bravery, service, and sacrifice.
“I would like to particularly thank Mrs. Barbara Doherty and Ms. Katie Quigley of Winchester, MA – the devoted mother and sister of U.S. Navy SEAL Glen Doherty - as well as Amy Carnevale and Dennis Potter of K&L Gates and Dan Rea of WBZ News Radio for their steadfast support of this legislation and for amplifying our effort over the past several years.
“There is no legacy more lasting and profound than the bravery and sacrifice of those who have stood in defense of our nation,” Rep. Lynch concluded. “After more than a decade since the terrorist attack in Benghazi, it is more than fitting that we bestow the Congressional Gold Medal on the four fallen American heroes who bravely defended our compound and dedicated their lives to service on behalf of the United States of America.”
For over twenty years, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens served our nation in the Foreign Service. From his first assignment as a Consular/Economic Officer in Saudi Arabia to his last diplomatic mission in Libya, Ambassador Stevens reflected a genuine commitment to building bridges with our Middle Eastern and North African partners and advancing our most cherished democratic ideals.
During their decades of service as elite U.S. Navy Seals with tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other overseas conflict zones, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods perpetually exemplified the Navy Seal motto: “the only easy day was yesterday.” Their continued service as overseas security personnel responsible for the safety of American diplomatic officials will never be forgotten.
As a former ground radio maintenance specialist in the U.S. Air Force and a State Department officer, Sean Smith, served our nation with honor and distinction throughout multiple deployments that included Iraq, South Africa, Oman, and Libya.
Since the American revolution, Congress has commissioned and bestowed the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of distinguished acts of bravery, leadership, and achievement that leave an enduring impact on American history. Rep. Lynch is grateful to the nearly 300 bipartisan Members who co-sponsored the legislation and enabled its passage in the House. He is also thankful to Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) for introducing the Senate companion to H.R. 310 and ensuring the support of 70 bipartisan Senators.