Private Emmanuel Mensah, who died in a tragic Bronx fire after rescuing four people, will receive a Medal of Valor and a Soldier’s Medal from the Army, the Daily News has learned.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who pushed the Army to pay posthumous tribute to Mensah, said the young soldier deserved the recognition for his “courage, sacrifice and utter selflessness.”
The Soldier’s Medal is the Army’s highest peacetime honor for bravery. It’s given for acts of personal danger and voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy. The Medal of Valor is awarded to those who display similar acts of heroism, the Army said.
Mensah died Dec. 28 in a horrific blaze that killed 12 others. The Army private had rushed in and out of the burning Bronx building at least three times to guide four people to safety, Army officials said.
Officials believe Mensah, 28, was trying to rescue others when the smoke and flames overtook him.
Schumer hailed the soldier as a “hero” in his letter to Army officials last week.
On Monday, he applauded the Army for its swift and fitting response.
“On behalf of all New Yorkers, and all Americans, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to Pfc. Mensah, and his family, for the heroic actions he displayed on that fateful day; it will never be forgotten,” said Schumer.
Mensah, a permanent legal resident, had emigrated to the U.S. from Ghana with his family.
He enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2016.
Mensah had lived in the Bronx building where the fire broke out before he left for training in Virginia.
He was home for the holidays when the tragedy occurred, Army officials said.
Mensah was to begin drilling with the 107th Military Police Company this month.
Source: DailyNews, NY