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Obama’s statement on bin Laden’s death

View excerpts from President Barack Obama’s statement Sunday night announcing the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, as transcribed by the White House.

Related story: Obama says bin Laden's death leaves world a safer place


Pablo Martinez Monsivais - Associated Press

President Barack Obama reads his statement to photographers after making a televised statement on the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, May 1, 2011.


“It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.”

White House transcript, Associated Press

Alexandre Fuchs, File - Associated Press

In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, the remains of the World Trade Center stands amid the debris following the terrorist attack on the building in New York.


Bernadette Tuazon, File - Associated Press

In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, dust and debris covers the ground and clouds the air near the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York.


Will Morris - Associated Press

In this Sept. 11, 2001 file photo, flames and smoke pour from a building at the Pentagon after a direct, devasting hit from an aircraft.


“And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.”

White House transcript, Associated Press

Mark Lennihan, File - Associated Press

In this Oct. 28, 2001 file photo, families of those killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack gather for a memorial service at the site of the World Trade Center disaster.


The Kansas City Star, David Pulliam, File - Associated Press

In this Sept. 11, 2002 file photo, Police Sgt. Victor Webb sheds tears during a ceremony in remembrance of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

White House transcript, Associated Press

Beth Keiser, Pool - Associated Press

In this Sept. 11, 2002 file photo, a mourner is overcome with grief as she kneels on the ground at the pit of ground zero in New York on the first anniversary of the attacks that leveled the World Trade Center.


“We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al-Qaida — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaida to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.”

White House transcript, Associated Press

J. David Ake - Associated Press

President Barack Obama is seen on a television monitor in the press briefing room as he makes a televised statement on the death of Osama bin Laden from the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, May 1, 2011.


“Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al-Qaida safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al-Qaida terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.”

White House transcript, Associated Press

Pier Paolo Cito, File - Associated Press

In this Feb. 12, 2010 file photo, a U.S. marine of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine uses his rifle scope to check distant firefight between U.S. troops and insurgents near an outpost west of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan. This unit operated in the planned U.S. Marine offensive against the Taliban in Marjah area.


“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary 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.”

White House transcript, Associated Press

GEO TV - Associated Press

An image made from Geo TV video shows flames at what is thought to be the compound where terror mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday, May 1, 2011, in Abbatabad, Pakistan.


“The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.”

White House transcript, Associated Press

The Charlotte Observer, Todd Sumlin, File - Associated Press

In this Sept. 11, 2009 file photo, Christian Bernash, 4, marches between American flags forming the shape of the Twin Towers during a commemoration ceremony to mark the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, in Charlotte, N.C.


“The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. 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.”

White House transcript, Associated Press

Jason DeCrow - Associated Press

Hands reach up to grasp an American flag as a large, jubilant crowd reacts to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death at the corner of Church and Vesey Streets, adjacent to ground zero, during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 2, 2011 in New York. President Barack Obama announced Sunday night, May 1, 2011, that Osama bin Laden was killed in an operation led by the United States.

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