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Honoring the Members of the Military and Intelligence Community who Carried Out the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. MANCHIN. Mr. President, Osama bin Laden's death is a historic and just victory for this Nation.

While this is a profound victory in the war on terror, our thoughts must go to the thousands of innocent men and women who lost family members and whose lives were forever changed by the tragedy of September 11.

The families of those lost and our Nation as a whole can take great pride that our brave servicemembers and intelligence community successfully carried out this mission. I could not be more proud of the outstanding men and women of our military who put their lives on the line daily to defend this Nation.

Each and every one of us has a deeply personal connection to the tragic events of September 11. At the time, I was West Virginia's secretary of state. I remember staff coming into my office, and they said: Did you see what is going on? That is all they had to say, and that is all they did say.

So many Americans have similar stories. We watched in horror on live television as the second plane hit the World Trade Center and I knew something we could never anticipate and imagine had just happened to our great country. We didn't know how our lives would change, but we knew they would.

In West Virginia, similar to States all over the country, we are still mourning those we lost: a former WVU quarterback and a WVU economics graduate who were both killed in the World Trade Center's North Tower, a Parkersburg High School graduate, a young lady who perished in the South Tower, and a Marshall University medical school graduate, a doctor who practiced, was killed when the airliner he was on crashed into the Pentagon. Our thoughts and prayers will always be with them and their families.

Just like our world changed that terrible day, it has changed yet again with the killing of Osama bin Laden. It means something different to each of us. Osama bin Laden's death cannot bring back the thousands of lives that were lost that fateful day or the ones who have been lost at the hands of al-Qaida since. It cannot repair the anguish so many have suffered as a result of the evil and hatred Osama bin Laden espoused.

But it is justice, and I hope this Nation and the families of those who were lost on September 11 can take solace in that fact.

Let me also say I am so proud of the resolve, the strength, and the fortitude this Nation showed in pursuing the mission to its end.

With the killing of Osama bin Laden, the United States sent a message loudly and clearly: acts of terrorism against this Nation will not go unpunished. If you seek to do harm to this country or if you plan to hurt the people of our great Nation, we will find you and, I assure you, justice will be served.

While this success belongs to all of us, I especially thank the teams of people who united to accomplish this most important goal. President Obama and his advisers completed the mission, and I congratulate him for that. He was the one who made the difficult decision to order this mission, and he made the right call.

Immense credit must also be given to all the people in the intelligence community who have worked tirelessly to track down the world's most wanted terrorist. I also congratulate Presidents Clinton and Bush and the commitment their teams showed in fighting the war on terror.

Finally, I hope we sustain the spirit of unity we all feel at this moment to put politics aside and remind Americans that as a great nation, we become greater when we unite behind a common purpose.

For these reasons, I strongly support S. Res. 159. May God continue to bless the United States of America.

I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.


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