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News > JBA hosts POTUS for ceremony honoring Benghazi Consulate Victims
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 Joint Base Andrews was the chosen site for a ceremony today honoring the four Americans killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya Sept. 11.
 Hundreds of State Department employees packed a hangar on the base flight line to witness the dignified transfer of the Honorable J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya; Sean Smith, an Air Force veteran working as a State Department information management specialist; and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs serving in protective security roles at the consulate.
 Service members from all branches of the Department of Defense were represented in the Joint Color Guard that presented final honors before Secretary Clinton took to the podium.
 President Obama then addressed the crowd, providing background on each of the four Americans, and offering his sympathy to the families they left behind - including mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, and children.
 
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Commander in Chief speaks during dignified transfer ceremony
Commander in Chief Barack Obama pauses during a speech Sept. 14 at Joint Base Andrews, Md., to reflect on the lives of individuals killed during attacks to the U.S. consulate Sept. 11, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya. Obama took time with family, friends and service members at the dignified transfer ceremony to honor the sacrifices J. Christopher Stevens, Sean P. Smith, Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods made in service to the United States and countries abroad. Ceremonial guard members from across the National Capital Region, representing all branches of the Department of Defense, rendered final honors to the deceased during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steele C. G. Britton)
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JBA hosts POTUS for ceremony honoring Benghazi Consulate Victims

Posted 9/14/2012   Updated 9/14/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Chyenne A. Adams
Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs


9/14/2012 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Joint Base Andrews was the chosen site for a ceremony today honoring the four Americans killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya Sept. 11.

President of the United States Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, UN Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Senators John Kerry and John McCain were among the dignitaries present.

Hundreds of State Department employees packed a hangar on the base flight line to witness the dignified transfer of the Honorable J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya; Sean Smith, an Air Force veteran working as a State Department information management specialist; and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs serving in protective security roles at the consulate.

The United States Air Force Honor Guard and Band were part of the ceremonial contingent welcoming these Americans home for the final time. Service members from all branches of the Department of Defense were represented in the Joint Color Guard that presented final honors before Secretary Clinton took to the podium.

"This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We've seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We've seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable," she said in her remarks.

"There will be more difficult days ahead, but it is important that we don't lose sight of the fundamental fact that America must keep leading the world. We owe it to those four men to continue the long, hard work of diplomacy. I am enormously proud of the men and women of the State Department. I'm proud of all those across our government, civilian and military alike, who represent America abroad. They help make the United States the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity the world has ever known. If the last few days teach us anything, let it be this: That this work, and the men and women who risk their lives to do it, are at the heart of what makes America great and good."

President Obama then addressed the crowd, providing background on each of the four Americans, and offering his sympathy to the families they left behind - including mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, and children.

"To you, their families and colleagues, to all Americans, know this - their sacrifice will never be forgotten. We will bring to justice those who took them from us. We will stand fast against the violence on our diplomatic missions. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect Americans serving overseas. Whether that means increasing security at our diplomatic posts, working with host countries on obligations to provide security, and making it clear that justice will come to those who harm Americans," said the President.

"Most of all, even in our grief, we will be resolute. We are Americans and we hold our head high. Knowing that because of these patriots, because of you, this country that we love will always shine as alight onto the world," he said.

"'Greater love hath no man than this.' The man laid down his life for his friends. The flag they served under now carries them home. May God bless the memories of these men who laid down their lives for us all. May God watch over your families and all who loved them. And may God bless these United States of America."



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