"America can do whatever we set our mind to," President Obama said.
In mid-September 2001, Ground Zero was still smoldering when another president made a promise it took almost a decade to keep:
"I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon," President George W. Bush said.
And Bush said he'd take bin Laden any way he could get him.
“There's an old poster out west, as I recall that said, wanted: dead or alive." Less than a month after 9/11, America went to war with Afghanistan, with a goal of eliminating bin Laden and Al-Qaeda…
Seven years later, we were electing a new president and–in a debate–candidate Barack Obama sounded just like George Bush:
“We will kill bin Laden; we will crush Al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority."
But bin Laden lived on, and taunted Obama after the election, saying the new president had "planted seeds for revenge and hatred towards the United States in the Muslim world."
For years, the wars continued. It all seemed like a stalemate neither side would ever, or could ever, win.
The sounds you heard last night were the sounds of relief and restoration. For at least a moment, we are united again–not Republicans or Democrats–but Americans–joined together by a bold strike that is–as the president says-
"…a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people."
The war on terror isn't over…and neither is the next presidential election.
But, make no mistake, both have changed.
The nation, and the president, are stronger today.
I’m Andy Hiller, that’s my instinct.
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