Nearly 10 years after the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, justice is now served upon the criminal most responsible for the murder of 3,000 Americans. Osama bin Laden is dead as a result of the tenacious pursuit by U.S. intelligence and two Navy SEAL units ordered into action by President Barack Obama yesterday.
The leader of Al Qaeda declared war on the United States but waged a merciless war on humanity, and now all of those around the world who want peace will rest easier knowing bin Laden is dead. It is the families and loved ones of his victims, people of every religion and from all corners of the globe, who will be grateful for this moment the most.
A courageous U.S. Navy SEAL team carried out this operation, yet we must also recognize the hundreds of thousands of Americans who answered the call of duty after 9/11 and fought on the frontlines of the war against bin Laden and Al Qaeda. It is to these brave men and women who sacrifice so much every day in the defense of our country that we owe an eternal debt of gratitude, especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect us all. Although nothing can make up for the loss of loved ones in battle, for the families of our fallen, this too is a day of remembrance and celebration.
Osama bin Laden’s death is a severe blow to Al Qaeda and an unprecedented victory in the fight against terrorism. Our fight with Al Qaeda is not over, and there may be more dark days ahead, but today, for the first time in a long time, the end is all that much closer.
John D. Podesta is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for American Progress.