Citizen Honors Awardee
2008|Above & Beyond Citizen Award|St. Paul, MN
Matthew Miller of St. Paul, MN, a student and construction worker, went above and beyond for others as he saved the lives of ten people and helped scores of injured in the 35W Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis.
Matthew Miller of Fridley, Minnesota, has been recognized for his courageous rescue of his fellow citizens from a catastrophic bridge collapse. On August 1, 2007, Matthew, a college senior, was part of a summer construction crew working on the 35W bridge in Minneapolis when on his way to work he watched in horror as the bridge suddenly buckled and collapsed. With total disregard for his own safety, Matthew climbed down into the wreckage to look for survivors. Trained in first aid, he immediately identified and helped four injured co-workers get to a place of safety before following cries for help down to the riverbank. Rappelling down a cliff, Matthew pulled eight people out of their smashed cars in the river that day and stayed long after the first respondents left so he could make repeated trips to look for more survivors. Later that night, Matthew was exhausted but continued to help load injured people into Coast Guard boats and then drove all remaining injured to the hospital in a company truck that he had turned into a makeshift ambulance. Due to Matthew’s actions that day, many lives were saved. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Matthew Miller is an inspiration and credit to the state of Minnesota and to his fellow Americans.