American Hero and North Dakota Native, Clint Hill, Is Given State’s Highest Honor

On November 22nd, 1963 in the presidential motorcade, Clint Hill risked his own life to save President Kennedy and the first lady

WASHBURN, N.D. — North Dakota’s highest honor has been given to a former U.S. Secret Service agent who was at the Kennedy assassination.

KVRR’s Jessie Cohen tells us how Clint Hill has held on to his North Dakota roots.

“Who was the individual that’s etched into our memories who left so selflessly onto the back of the limousine to shield the president and the first lady, it was Clint Hill, the man we are here to honor today,” said North Dakota Governor, Doug Burgum.

On November 22nd, 1963 in the presidential motorcade, Clint Hill risked his own life to save President Kennedy and the first lady.

He walked away from that moment saving one life…which changed his title to hero in the history books.

“It did make him famous worldwide but there is much more to this man. His devotion to service and law enforcement spans many decades, he has led a remarkable and very interesting life and career,” said Attorney General, Wayne, Stenehjem.

As the 44th recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider award in North Dakota, Hill is now the first law enforcement officer in the Rough Rider hall of fame.

He’s become an inspiration to young secret service agents.

“Sir I’ve never met you before but I know you. I know you not because of your heroism and courage that day not because you’ve been a personal hero of mine but because you were worthy of trusting confidence from the day you came on the job and you still are now,” said Joe Scargill, a Special Agent with the Secret Service based out of Minneapolis.

He served 5 presidents and lived with the stories for 50 years.

Hill wrote his first book at 80 and says he owes his ability to battle PTSD to one reporter.

“He is and always will be that boy from Washburn North Dakota who puts others before himself who does every job no matter how big or small without complaint to completion. His work ethic and impeccable integrity are ingrained in him. These values were instilled right here in North Dakota,” said author and journalist, Lisa McCubbin.

“The more I told her, the better I felt,” Hill said.

Many stepped up to the mic to praise Hill for his heroic moment and the legacy he has left on the state…but he holds on to where it all started.

“I may have left North Dakota because of employment opportunities but my heart and soul will always be here in Washburn along the banks of the Missouri river. Thank you,” Hill said.

Rough Rider recipients are chosen by the governor with help from the secretary of state and the director of the State Historical Society.

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