State Democratic leaders issue statements on bin Laden’s death

Democratic leaders of the Colorado General Assembly and Gov. John Hickenlooper released statements today praising President Barack Obama and members of the armed forces who orchestrated and performed the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

“I congratulate President Obama and the fine men and women of our armed forces on their successful mission against Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.  Americans and free people around the world are safer today because of their actions,” Sen. President Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, said. “As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, ‘The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.’ We must continue to be vigilant as we fight for peace around the world and yesterday marked a significant victory in the War on Terror.”

Bin Laden was reportedly killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan during a short firefight with a force of U.S. Navy Seals assigned to the operation. The leader of al Qaeda was then buried at sea due to concerns that U.S. officials would be unable to find a country to accept bin Laden’s body within an Islamic 24-hour burial requirement . The sea burial also stops bin Laden’s burial site from becoming a rallying point for terrorists.

Mayor John Hickelooper also praised those responsible for “bringing one of the nation’s greatest enemies” to justice and said he felt a sense of relief at bin Laden’s death.

“The death of Osama bin Laden gives our nation another reason to remember and honor the thousands of Americans who were killed on 9/11. We owe a debt of gratitude to our military and counterterrorism professionals for bringing to justice one of our nation’s greatest enemies. It’s hard not to feel a sense of relief and hope that we have turned an important corner in the struggle against terrorism.”

House Minority Leader Sal Pace, D-Pueblo, issued a statement which not only congratulated those involved in the operation targeting bin Laden, but pointed to those serving in the National Guard and to former Rep. Col. Joe Rice, who is currently serving in Iraq.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to the men and women in uniform who brought the hunt for Osama bin Laden to its conclusion last night.

“The Colorado National Guard has been on the front line in the war on terror.  Their families have made immense sacrifices over the past ten years.  To those families, last night’s news is a confirmation that their sacrifices have made a difference,” Pace said.

“May we keep the victims of the 9/11 attacks forever in our hearts and minds, and pray every day for the safe return of all of our men and women serving our country overseas.

“The House Democratic caucus would also like to extend our gratitude toward our former colleague Colonel Joe Rice, who is currently serving his fifth tour of Iraq in the U.S. Army Reserves.  Joe, we miss you and eagerly await your safe return.  Thank you for your service.”

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