Just as I was getting ready to go to bed, I heard late Sunday night that President Obama was going to address the nation. Naturally, I thought to myself: what could it be? What couldn’t wait?
Could it be that we got the nuke from Iran? Could it be that we got Gadhafi?
Nope. Even better.
Osama bin Laden is dead.
Almost 10 years ago, we all lost a little piece of ourselves. Some lost family members. Some lost jobs. Others lost their livelihoods. All of us lost a little piece of safety that came along with being an American.
I remember how I felt on that fateful 11th day in September. Nothing was safe.
The Twin Towers that I grew up with in New York City were brought down. The center of our national defense, the Pentagon, was attacked, and one more plane was ready to attack the White House.
On that day, we lost sons and daughters, moms and dads, heroes and patriots.
Everything we ever knew as Americans was thought to be in jeopardy.
All of this, the product of the vision of one man … Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida organization.
And now that man is dead, shot down outside of Islamabad, Pakistan, as a result of a U.S. covert operation.
Today we are not Democrats, we are not Republicans, we are Americans. Retrieving Osama bin Laden, dead or alive, has been our No. 1 priority for the last 10 years.
And whether you like George W. Bush or Barack Obama, today I pay gratitude to these two commanders in chief of our U.S. military. George W. Bush started out the bin Laden policy of “Dead or Alive,” and Barack Obama and our U.S. military was around to execute it.
Our resolve needed to be steadfast, and our commitment needed to be unwavering. Even after almost 10 years, we could never give up.
First responders and rescue workers didn’t give up on that September morning. Those heroes on United Flight 93 didn’t give up. We owed it to them to do everything we could to bring to justice those responsible for these attacks.
And our brave men and women in the armed forces and the intelligence community did just that. This was a multi-faceted, sophisticated and complex effort. Thank you to every member of our military, every covert officer, every volunteer, every American that did their part in helping to bring bin Laden to justice.
Hopefully, all of those who have lost someone in 9/11 or all Americans who lost a little piece of our freedom can find some comfort knowing that this man has paid the ultimate penalty.
While we can never be the same as we were on Sept. 10, 2001, and cannot bring back those we lost, today we can at least take a breath and breathe a sigh of relief.
This is a great day to be an American. Thank you, and God bless America.