Tester: ‘Our vigilance in the worldwide fight against terrorism doesn’t end here’
As next chapter unfolds, ‘we are anxious’ to bring American troops home, Senator says
(U.S. SENATE) – While praising the U.S. military strike that killed Osama bin Laden, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today told his colleagues in the U.S. Senate that “our nation will continue to be steadfast in our commitment to the security, the safety, and opportunity for all Americans.”
“While Osama bin Laden’s death is a true victory, our vigilance in the worldwide fight against terrorism doesn’t end here,” Tester said in a speech on the floor of the Senate. “The thousands of Montanans still serving abroad today remind us of that every day.”
Tester noted that 36 Montanans have died in the conflicts overseas since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
“Dozens more have been seriously wounded,” Tester said. “A few were long-time service members, but many of them joined the military specifically because of that day. We are so thankful to them for all that they gave. And for all that their families gave.”
Tester also said he expects the U.S. to “redefine and recalibrate” its future military involvement in Afghanistan.
“And as this next chapter unfolds, my thoughts and prayers will always remain with the hundreds of Montanans serving there,” Tester said. “We are anxious to bring them home.”
Tester’s floor remarks appear below.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester
Senate Floor Remarks
Prepared for delivery
May 2, 2011
Mr. President, it was a little less than ten years ago, I was in northern Wyoming driving home.
It was the day of September 11, 2001. And on that drive home that evening, I heard the press report saying that Osama bin Laden was behind the terrorist attack on the Trade Center, and the Pentagon, and in that field in Pennsylvania where the plane went down.
I said to myself then, “it’s just a matter of time when the United States will catch him and justice will be served.”
Across the remote mountains and dingy suburbs of Afghanistan and Pakistan, thousands of American troops dedicated themselves to stamping out Osama bin Laden. And the evil he defined. All of those Americans made painful sacrifices at home.
Many still are. Many are struggling with injuries seen and unseen. Thousands have given their precious lives.
And of course we will never forget the innocent lives taken in cold blood on September 11th, 2001.
We all know how that day changed the course of world history. One man was behind it all. We’ve hunted him for more than a decade.
Now, thanks to the hard, diligent work of America’s Special Forces and intelligence agents, that man is dead. At long last catching him in a corner, a handful of American troops delivered justice to the entire world.
The price for Osama bin Laden’s death was enormous. And although yesterday’s precision strike was executed by the toughest, smartest and most effective special operations force on earth, its justice is the result of all the countless soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and intelligence agents, and their families, who went ‘all in’ for us over the past decade.
This country – now and among future generations – will never forget their sacrifices.
36 Montanans have been killed in worldwide operations since 9/11. Dozens more have been seriously wounded. A few were long-time service members, but many of them joined the military specifically because of that awful day. We are so thankful to them for all that they gave. And for all that their families gave.
While Osama bin Laden’s death is a true victory, our vigilance in the worldwide fight against terrorism doesn’t end here, Mr. President.
The thousands of Montanans still serving abroad today remind us of that every day.
Yesterday we blotted out Osama bin Laden forever. And that will make our world safer. But working together with the international community, our nation will continue to be steadfast in our commitment to security, the safety, and opportunity for all Americans.
Security and opportunity and freedom aren’t just American values. They’re human values. And as Americans, we will never be afraid to fight for them.
In the days and months ahead, I expect we will refine and recalibrate the future of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
And as this next chapter unfolds, my thoughts and prayers will always remain with the hundreds of Montanans serving there.
We are forever grateful for their service. We are anxious to bring them home.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.