Remarkable mission that brought bin Laden to justice

By U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe | May 06, 2011

Washington, D.C. — I was pleased to join with my Senate colleagues in offering the strongest possible support for a resolution honoring our heroic military and intelligence communities responsible for carrying out the mission that resulted in the death of one of the most reviled murderers and nefarious menaces of our time – Osama bin Laden.

As a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I commend our armed forces and intelligence professionals for their absolutely exceptional and flawless heroism in conducting the most perilous and consequential of operations. With the highest level of perseverance, professionalism, service, and potential sacrifice, our finest forces brought about a day of reckoning and justice for a wretched terrorist.

This landmark event is indeed a significant stride forward in the war on terrorism. Since 9-11, the efforts of our tireless and dedicated armed forces and intelligence operators have sought to keep our homeland safe and make the world more secure. We are blessed with such brave and valiant men and women serving this country at home and abroad. These heroes have made selfless sacrifices and put their lives on the line for our nation. While we are sleeping at night, they are fighting on our behalf. During this now-legendary May 1 raid, their mettle and courage were brought to the forefront for all the world to see.

As a result of the horrendous events of Sept. 11, 2001, which are etched upon our consciousness for all time, we will never be the same. Out of the rubble of Sept. 11 rose our resolve, out of despair grew our determination, and out of the hate that was perpetrated upon us stood our humanity. We illustrated in word and deed that the iconic American spirit is stronger and more permanent than any pain or suffering that can be inflicted upon us.

If the likes of Osama bin Laden laid bare the unimaginable cruelties of which humankind is capable, it also imbued forever within our minds the heights to which the human spirit can rise – even and especially in the face of the most daunting of circumstances. The resilience we demonstrate as a country remains impressed upon our national psyche and the memory of those Americans who perished Sept. 11 will forever have a home in our hearts and our prayers.

In praise and appreciation, I think about all of the servicemen and women who have served in our military, those who willingly joined the armed forces specifically because of what happened 9-11, and the sacrifices of their families and the lives that have been lost.  Today, and every day, we express immeasurable gratitude to the more than 6,000 Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan who have given their lives to make the world a safer place. Without their vital contributions, we could not have achieved this milestone today.

In their honor, I supported a Senate resolution honoring the members of the military and intelligence community who carried out the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, which passed the Senate on Tuesday, May 3. This resolution will stand as a testament that without the stalwart efforts and unwavering dedication of our valorous men and women in uniform and within our intelligence community, this threshold moment in our nation's history would not have been possible.

While justice has been brought to the face of terrorism for the last decade, we must remain vigilant. In the aftermath of bin Laden’s death, the threat posed by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups continues real and unabated – and we must remain on high alert. British statesman Edmund Burke once famously said “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

These heroic patriots whom we laud today tracked their target with precision, preparation, and patience, as well as an unmistakable sense of duty and valor reserved for only the best among us, and they delivered a death knell that will reverberate for generations to come.

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