Last night, Fox Nation hosted their annual Patriot Awards, which seeks to recognize the everyday heroes among us who don’t get the recognition from awards shows that are usually reserved for actors, artists and celebrities.
The event, held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville for the first time and hosted by Fox & Friends host and Nashville native Pete Hegseth, shines the spotlight on people like first responders, veterans, police officers, and others who do important work but are rarely celebrated.
And one special award was given to a group of Nashville police officers who ran towards the gunfire to stop a horrific tragedy.
Among the honorees at the Patriot Awards were the Metro Nashville Police Department officers who responded to the shooting at the Covenant School earlier this year, including officers Rex Englebert and Michael Collazo, who confronted shooter Audrey Hale, fatally shooting her before she could hurt any more victims.
Along with Detective Sergeant Jeff Mathes, Detective Ryan Cagle and Detective Zachary Plese, Englebert and Collazo were presented with the Stephen Siller Patriot Award, named for New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who sacrificed himself to save others during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The award was accepted by Mathes and his fellow officers, who recounted the horror of that day and the decision to run towards the gunfire:
“That decision, it wasn’t even a decision…
One of our personal mantras is we put others first. On behalf of Metro Nashville Police Department, there are patriots that I’ll accept this for, patriots like our friend and detective on our team, Eric Wegner.
He ran outside…he got shot at, and that’s what we needed to find what we needed to do.
Being a patriot is going for others, respecting each others, respecting your country, and most importantly, putting your God first.”
Our Covenant officers received a standing ovation tonight as they walked onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House as part of the national Patriot Awards recognition program sponsored by Fox News. Sgt. Jeff Mathes & Detectives Mike Collazo & Ryan Cagle represented our team. pic.twitter.com/BtAJxJ6IxR
The officers were also honored with a mural in recognition of their bravery and heroism.
Our team was honored to receive the inaugural Tunnels to Towers Stephen Siller Patriot Award, named after the FDNY firefighter who sacrificed his life on 9/11 to save others. The officers were also presented with a special mural in recognition of their heroism. pic.twitter.com/xoNubqs5pX