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Pfc. Mensah Was Home in the Bronx For Holidays When Apartment Fire Broke Out; Mensah Evacuated a Family & Went Back Into Inferno Multiple Times To Save Others When He Was Killed 

Last Week, Schumer Urged the Army to Posthumously Honor Mensah, an Immigrant from Ghana, for Courage, Sacrifice & Utter Selflessness

After His Push, U.S. Army Will Award ‘Soldier’s Medal’ & ‘Medal of Valor’ to Pfc.Mensah For Saving the Lives of Four People & Rescuing People Three Times Before Succumbing to the Fire

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that, after his push, the U.S. Department of the Army will posthumously honor Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah with the ‘Soldier’s Award,’ the highest peacetime award for valor, as well as the ‘Medal of Valor’. Pfc Emmanuel Mensah was tragically killed while rescuing individuals from the massive apartment fire in a Bronx apartment building on December 28th.

“I applaud the Army for this swift decision and for heeding our call because Pfc. Mensah was an American hero and these posthumous awards now rightfully recognizes this fact. Pfc. Mensah is much deserving of the ‘Soldier’s Medal’ because of his courage, sacrifice and utter selflessness in the face of mortal danger, and I want to thank the Department of Army for recognizing what happened on this sad day. 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 U.S Senator Charles Schumer.

Pfc. Mensah’s family emigrated from Ghana. He was a permanent legal resident who enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in 2016. According to the Army, PFC Mensah is credited with saving the lives of four people and rescuing people three times from the burning apartment building in the Bronx before succumbing to the overwhelmingly dangerous conditions.  

The Soldier’s Medal must involve personal hazard or danger and the 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.  

In his original letter to the Army, Sen. Schumer wrote: “On the tragic evening of December 28th 2017, Pfc. Mensah displayed the Army values of personal courage, selfless service and duty.”

A copy of Schumer’s original letter is below:

Dear Secretary Esper,

           I write today to implore the Department of the Army to posthumously honor Private First Class Emmanuel Mensah of the New York Army National Guard who was tragically killed while rescuing four individuals from a massive apartment fire at his family home in the Bronx, New York.

            Pfc. Mensah was home in the Bronx for the holidays after having completed training and was waiting to begin drilling with the 107th Military Police Company this month. His visit home was his first since he had enlisted in the Army National Guard a year earlier. On the tragic evening of December 28th 2017, Pfc. Mensah displayed the Army values of personal courage, selfless service and duty. He was sleeping on the first floor of the five-story apartment building, when the deadly fire broke out. After safely evacuating the family of six out of the apartment, Pfc. Mensah exited the building. Upon realizing the gravity of the situation, he ran back into the inferno four times to help save the lives of four others. Firefighters believe that based upon where they found his remains that he was still attempting to rescue others when he succumbed to the flames.

            Pfc. Mensah was many things: a soldier, an immigrant, a first generation American, a New Yorker but above all else he was a hero. His courage, sacrifice and utter selflessness in the face of mortal danger make him a worthy example for every American to follow. It is my sincere hope that the Department of the Army will honor and recognize one of their own who lived and died according to the highest ideals of this country. 

            Thank you for your attention to this issue. Should you have any questions or require further information please do not hesitate to contact my office.