January 24, 1996 in Nation/World

Heroes Take A Bow Before The Country

Associated Press

They were turned into heroes under brutal circumstances, and on Tuesday night President Clinton honored a policewoman and a federal worker who helped rescue victims of the devastating Oklahoma City bomb that killed 169 people last spring.

Also asked to take a bow before the country: Massachusetts factory owner Aaron Feuerstein, 70, who kept his 2,400 mill workers on the payroll after fire destroyed much of his textile factory two weeks before Christmas.

Sgt. Jennifer Rodgers, 30, one of the first on the scene, and Richard Dean, an employee of Social Security who rescued three women, were two of the Oklahoma City heroes singled out by the president.

Police Chief Sam Gonzalez has nominated Rodgers as one of 5,500 local heroes from across the nation who will run the Olympic torch from Los Angeles to Atlanta this summer.

Clinton called Rodgers a reminder of the response of the people in Oklahoma City who “lifted us all with their basic sense of values and community.” And he cited Dean as an example of the best of public service, someone who during the second government shutdown “continued helping Social Security recipients, working without pay.”

Said the president: “On behalf of Richard and his family, I challenge all of you in this chamber: never - ever - shut the federal government down again.”

Others invited to share the spotlight with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and daughter Chelsea in the gallery of the House of Representatives:

Rosana Monte, wife of Staff Sgt. Evelio Monte, who is serving in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, with U.S. peacekeeping forces, and their children, Annabell and Christian. The Montes will serve as representatives of the families of U.S. forces in the former Yugoslavia.

Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, whom Clinton has chosen to run the Office of National Drug Control Policy because of his successes against narcotics traffickers attempting to bring cocaine into the country from Latin America.

Educator Lucius Wright of Jackson, Miss., who founded organizations that encourage young people to combat drugs and set goals for themselves and to work with police on community projects.

Elie Wiesel and his wife, Maron. He is the Holocaust survivor who has devoted his life to keeping alive the memory and lesson of the Holocaust.

Mayors Norman Rice of Seattle and Richard M. Daley of Chicago, the top officers of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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