WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) introduced legislation this week with Congressmen Stephen Lynch (MA-8), Duncan Hunter (CA-52) and Susan Davis (CA-53) to posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Glen A. Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith in recognition of their contributions to our nation. These four Americans honorably served the United States and were killed during the September 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress to express public gratitude for distinguished patriotism and heroism.
“These four Americans worked daily to advance the ideals our nation was founded on and lost their lives in the service of our country during the attack on our diplomatic mission in Libya,” Rep. Mast said. “Our bipartisan legislation recognizes their bravery and sacrifice with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor that Congress has to bestow.”
“Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith served our nation with bravery and distinction,” Rep. Lynch, who is the lead sponsor of the bill, said. “We owe it to their families to honor their legacy, courage, and selfless sacrifice with the Congressional Gold Medal. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to honor true American heroes.”
Ambassador Stevens, a native of Grass Valley, California, served in the United States Foreign Service for 21 years as a leading American diplomat renowned for his commitment to advancing democracy and partnership with nations around the world. Mr. Doherty, a native of Winchester, Massachusetts, and Mr. Woods, a native of Portland, Oregon, were security contractors who previously served as combat-decorated Navy SEALS for a combined 32 years protecting American diplomats, their fellow servicemen and women, as well as the American people. Mr. Smith, a native of San Diego, California, served in the United States Air Force for six years and was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal prior to joining the State Department with posts in Baghdad, Iraq, Brussels, Belgium, and The Hague.
In particular, H.R. 2315 authorizes the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate to make appropriate arrangements for the posthumous award, on behalf of the Congress, of a gold medal of appropriate design in commemoration of Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, J. Christopher Stevens, and Sean Smith in recognition of their contributions to the Nation. The full text of the legislation is available here.