Obama honors first responders & families of 9/11 victims

Obama honors first responders & families of 9/11 victims

President Barack Obama visited New York City Thursday to meet quietly with first responders and the families of victims of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and mark the death of its mastermind, Osama bin Laden.

While careful to avoid the appearance of a victory lap, Obama delivered a clear message about his resolve – and the country’s – in pursuing bin Laden.

“What happened on Sunday, because of the courage of our military and the outstanding work of our intelligence, sent a message around the world, but also sent a message here back home that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say,” he said during his first stop – a visit with firefighters at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9, which lost 15 men on Sept. 11, 2001.

“It didn’t matter which administration was in,” he added, “it didn’t matter who was in charge, we were going to make sure that the perpetrators of that horrible act — that they received justice.”

The president, in his first trip to the city since the Sunday raid that killed Al Qaeda’s founder, began his visit with a trip to a Midtown Manhattan firehouse, where he shook hands with firefighters.  Obama viewed a memorial plaque at the station and lunched privately with about a dozen firefighters.

“For him to come here really meant something… I could see that the president was clearly touched,” said Chief Edward Kilduff of the New York City Fire Department.

Obama then paid a similar visit with policement at the First Precint station in lower Manhattan, several blocks north of the World Trade Center Site.

From there, he traveled to ground zero, where in a solemn ceremony he placed a wreath at a memorial where the twin towers once stood. He is expected to meet later with families of victims.

It took ten years to finish the job. Obama, for his part, has no intention of gloating, telling CBS “We don’t need to spike the football.”

Obama invited Bush to join him at ground zero, but Bush declined.
(via Politico)