Marking Osama bin Laden's death where the terrorist inflicted his greatest damage, President Barack Obama visited the Manhattan firehouse that sustained the heaviest losses on Sept. 11 and proclaimed that bin Laden's death sends the message that "we will never forget."
"This is a symbolic site of the extraordinary sacrifice that was made on that terrible day," the president said Thursday after shaking hands with firefighters at Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9. The firehouse in New York's theater district lost 15 firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001.
Obama at Engine 54 (Photo: AFP)
As for the killing of bin Laden by US commandos, Obama declared, "'When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say."
"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," he said. In his brief remarks, the president never mentioned bin Laden's name.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who led the city in dark days after the attacks, joined Obama in the visit to the station.
The president viewed a memorial plaque commemorating the firefighters who were lost and then lunched privately with a dozen firefighters.
From there, Obama was to travel to ground zero where the World Trade Center's twin towers once stood, to visit with Sept. 11 victims' families and lay a wreath.
Months before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, and days after bin Laden was killed in Pakistan, Obama's visit was giving New York its own moment of justice.
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