Ceremony honors heroes of Navy Yard shooting

WASHINGTON – The Washington Navy Yard paused Monday to remember individuals and groups that stood out as heroes during the recent mass shooting.

Gunman Aaron Alexis opened fire in September, killing 12 people.

“We gather here to recognize the heroism of those we lost and the heroism that confronted evil,” said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. “The memory will always burn brightly.”

Mabus presented posthumous awards to the victims and paid tribute to many other, including D.C. police officers, who showed courage on that day.

Among the families remembering a fallen loved one was Heather Hunt. Her father, Mike Ridgell, was killed during the shooting.

“We are really honored and touched,” said Hunt.

On behalf of Ridgell, her family accepted a Navy medal for valor and distinguished civilian service.

“Today I imagine how honored my dad would be if he could walk up there and shake the hands of the Navy officials,” she said.

Ridgell worked as a security guard at the Navy Yard.

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