The Paw Print
Nearly 10 years after the horrid tragedy that took place in New York City on September 11, 2001, President Barack Obama announced Sunday evening that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US forces in Pakistan. Osama bin Laden was the leader of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, a group that killed nearly 3,000 Americans with their attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. As word spread throughout the evening about the assassination of the most wanted man in the world, crowds gathered outside of the White House and at Ground Zero with emphatic cheers of “USA, USA, USA!” In New York, the crowd began singing The Star-Spangled Banner.
President Barack Obama quickly took the stage to address the United States of America. “Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Navy SEALS carried out the operation with courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties.
After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” said the President in his statement. The President was quick to caution that it did not end the threat of attacks from Al Qaeda. “Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
President Obama also addressed the Muslim citizens of the United States reiterating that the United States was not, nor has ever been, at war with the religion of Islam. “We must also reaffirm that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, he was a mass murderer of Muslims…So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and dignity.”
Osama bin Laden has repeatedly eluded capture by the United States and other allies for close to a decade. He once slipped out of a training camp only a few hours before a barrage of missiles from the United States carried out destruction on the compound. Bin Laden had carried out many attacks during his reign of terror including a fight with US soldier in Somalia in 1993, bombings of two U.S. embassies in August 1998 that killed 224 individuals, and an attack in 2000 on the U.S. Cole that killed 17 sailors.
After the statement was announced US Diplomatic facilities were placed on high alert. The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide caution for traveling Americans. There was a fear of retaliation on U.S. citizens and institutions from Al Qaeda supporters.
However, during Sunday evening the mood around the United States of America was ecstatic.
It was announced late Sunday night that Osama bin Laden was buried at sea in accordance with Islamic laws and traditions. The official gravesite is not really known, eerily similar to the burial of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Ending his statement President Obama said, “Tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to do. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. 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.”