Sunday night was one marked in history for our country. That night, I received a call from Secretary Gates alerting me that our special operations troops had launched a daring operation deep in Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September Eleventh attacks and numerous other attacks on America. He also told me that DNA-evidence confirmed that bin Laden was dead. This was news that our countrymen had waited to hear for a long time. As Americans picked themselves up after the terrorist attacks of September Eleventh, President Bush told us that we would get Osama bin Laden and President Obama delivered on that promise. The events of 9-11 affected us all – in California, across America, and among our nation’s allies, and the memory of those killed that day are etched in my memory for life. We will never forget. And while it has taken longer than many expected, Osama bin Laden is no longer living, and his death serves as a type of proof to terrorists who wish to harm us, that no matter how long it takes, we will find justice.
Our brave military forces and their civilian counterparts who have been working for more than a decade to capture or kill bin Laden have the gratitude of our nation. These warriors have paid tremendous sacrifices during this time, and the President’s announcement on Sunday night should help ease some of those burdens.
While we celebrate a major victory in one battle against evil, we should recognize that the larger war against terrorism continues. Al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen, Africa and Asia remain dedicated to killing Americans and our allies. We know that even as they mourn the loss of their inspirational leader, they will not waver in their determination to attack us and our way of life. As we rejoice, we must remain vigilant, and continue to support our brave men and women in uniform, as well as our courageous intelligence officers, around the world who serve on the front lines against this determined enemy.