Press Release

For Immediate Release
September 9, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

A Message from the Director

Four years ago, our nation was stunned by the terrible events unfolding at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. At the same time we witnessed the horror of those attacks, we witnessed the incomparable courage demonstrated by those who disregarded their own safety in responding to the disaster scenes.

Our own Lenny Hatton was one of those who, despite the danger, selflessly assisted in the evacuation of the World Trade Center. He was last seen helping a victim out of one of the buildings and rushing back in to save more.

Today, President George W. Bush presented the 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor to the families of Special Agent Leonard W. Hatton and the 441 other public safety officers who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Medal of Valor is the nation's highest award for law enforcement officers who perform acts above and beyond the call of duty exhibiting exceptional courage, extraordinary decisiveness, and presence of mind, as well as unusual swiftness of action regardless of personal safety in an attempt to save or protect human life. The 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor was created specifically to recognize those public safety officers who lost their lives that day.

This is a fitting tribute to those whose ultimate sacrifice saved so many. The impact of their courage is not limited to September 11. In truth, it will be felt for years to come -- both in the lives of those they rescued from dire situations, and in the hearts of those who witnessed their bravery.

Lenny Hatton's actions on September 11, 2001, exemplify the best of our nation. As his family receives his 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor today, let us again pay tribute to his courage and honor his remarkable example of service and sacrifice.

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