President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden have personally thanked military and intelligence operatives involved in the assault on the compound in Pakistan that allegedly housed Osama bin Laden. The meeting at Fort Campbell in Kentucky was private, but the President spoke afterwards in a public ceremony for troops returning from Afghanistan.
“These Americans deserve credit for one of the greatest intelligence military operations in our nation’s history. But so does every person who wears America’s uniform, the finest military the world has ever known. And that includes all of you men and women of 101st.
“You have been on the frontlines of this fight for nearly 10 years. You were there in those early days, driving the Taliban from power, pushing al Qaeda out of its safe havens. Over time, as the insurgency grew, you went back for, in some cases, a second time, a third time, a fourth time.
“When the decision was made to go into Iraq, you were there, too, making the longest air assault in history, defeating a vicious insurgency, ultimately giving Iraqis the chance to secure their democracy. And you’ve been at the forefront of our new strategy in Afghanistan.
“Sending you – more of you – into harm’s way is the toughest decision that I’ve made as Commander-in-Chief. I don’t make it lightly. Every time I visit Walter Reed, every time I visit Bethesda, I’m reminded of the wages of war. But I made that decision because I know that this mission was vital to the security of the nation that we all love.”
On Thursday 5th May, the President also took part in a ceremony in New York city for the families of those who lost loved ones in the September 11th collapse of the Twin Towers.