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Former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell presented the Above and Beyond Citizen Award to Matthew Miller today.

Rafael Suanes, Special to the Star Tribune

I-35W bridge hero honored

  • March 25, 2008 - 9:50 PM
Matthew Miller, a hero of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse, was honored Tuesday amid the playing of Taps in a sunrise ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Miller, 22, was one of three people to receive the inaugural Above & Beyond Citizen Honor, given by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Presenters during the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns included former Secretary of State Colin Powell and NBC news anchor Brian Williams, along with 34 recipients of the Medal of Honor.

"It's a blessing to be alive actually from that day," Miller said. "It's overwhelming to be surrounded by all these men of courage. ... I give all the credit to God, because without him I wouldn't have been able to react down at the bridge."

The Bethel University senior was recognized for his efforts to help save scores of people in the immediate hours after the Aug. 1 bridge collapse, which killed 13 people.

At the time Miller was working a summer construction job on the I-35W bridge.

Miller doesn't know if he will work construction this summer. "I get a little nervous on bridges," he said.

CONRAD WILSON

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