A US Capitol police officer who was wounded while protecting lawmakers from gunfire at a baseball practice in Virginia in June received an award from the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek (Maryland, US — D 7620) on Wednesday.
Special Agent Crystal Griner, who graduated from Hood College in 2006, was still using a crutch as she took the stage at Wednesday’s meeting in All Saints’ Episcopal Church at 7.30 am to accept the Paul Harris Fellow Award, the highest award bestowed by the club.
In the presentation, club president and Hood College official Linda Roth recounted how Griner and her colleagues engaged the shooter, James T Hodgkinson.
“Crystal and her fellow officers put their lives on the line and are credited for their swift action in preventing a larger tragedy,” Roth said.
“I think we can all agree that Crystal is the very definition of Rotary’s motto of service above self.”
Griner, who was assigned to protect House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was shot in the ankle during an exchange of gunfire with Hodgkinson, who was ultimately killed.
Scalise, fellow Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, congressional aide Zachary Barth and lobbyist Matt Mika were also injured in the shooting.
Griner said a few words after thanking the club members for the award.
“I’m not supposed to say much, but as I stand here with a heavy heart in light of the recent incident in Las Vegas, I have to. I cannot stand here silent as another senseless act of violence has just occurred,” Griner began, referring to the 58 people killed in a mass shooting Sunday at a music festival in Las Vegas.
While she said it was indeed discouraging to live in a time when baseball practices and concerts can end in tragedy, Griner encouraged the crowd not to give up hope in humanity.
“But in the midst of all the pain, fear and anger, we cannot forget our own humanity. In the darkest of moments, I have seen kindness and love bring hope in humanity. … It’s not hard to see that a change is needed, but it starts with us taking action in situations where others cannot do so for themselves,” Griner said.
A delegation of Frederick police officers was also present at Wednesday’s meeting, which was the Rotary Club’s semi-annual meeting to recognise “Officers of the Month” from Frederick police.
Source: The Frederick News-Post