A decade ago, President Bush addressed the nation as coalition forces commenced hostilities in Afghanistan. On October 7, 2001, he announced America’s commitment to justice and determination to secure a safer future for Americans and America and her allies:
“We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.”
Last night, President Obama concluded this opening statement, as he announced that American forces operating in Pakistan had killed Osama Bin Laden. Declaring that justice had at last been served, he said:
“Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.”
While the War on Terror continues, the reign of a madman has ended. Osama Bin Laden was committed to murdering innocent men and women around the world.
So as we sit and reflect upon what this means for the country and world, we must also reflect upon those whose lives were taken and shattered on, and in the wake of, September 11th. It is the universal hope that last night’s development will help mend the wounds that have remained open for so long.
I would also like to pause and remember that there was a cost for this victory, and it has been borne heavily in California. As of April 4, 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported 637 Californians died in the War on Terror. Thousands more came home haunted by the physical wounds and mental scars of combat.
This victory has not come freely. Their sacrifice at the foot of freedom and in the face of America’s enemies consecrated recent events far more than we ever can.
So as we celebrate, we should reflect and remember, offering a thought and a prayer for the memories of all of those who have died in the War on Terror; both the soldiers and the citizens.
What’s your take? Email your responses to Dan@PublicCEO.com.