Hillary Clinton, SecState:
"... heavily armed militants assaulted the compound, and set fire to our buildings.
American and Libyan security personal battled the attackers together. Four Americans were killed.
Sean Smith, a foreign service information officer
and our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens
we are still making next-of-kin notifications for the other two individuals.
This is an attack that should shock the conscience of peoples of all faiths around the world.
We condemn in the strongest words this senseless act of violence, and we sent our prayers to families/friends/colleagues of those we've lost.
All over the world every day American's diplomats and developers risk their lives in the service of our country and our values, because they believe the United States must be a force for peace and progress in the world.
that these aspirations are worth striving and sacrificing for
Along side our men & women in uniform the represent the best traditions of a bold and generous nation
In the lobby of this building - the State Department - the names of those who have fallen in the line of duty are inscribed in marble, our hearts break over each one - and now because of this tragedy we have new heroes to honor, and more friends to mourn
Chris Stevens fell in love with the middle east as a young peace corp volunteer teaching english in Morocco - he joined the foreign service, learned languages, won friends for America in distance places and made other peoples hopes his own. in the early days of the Libyan revolution, I asked Chris to be our envoy to the rebel opposition - he arrived on a cargo ship in the port of Benghazi, and began building our relationships with Libya's revolutionaries; he risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to help build a better Libya.
The world needs more Chris Stevens'
I spoke with his sister Ann this morning, and told her that he will be remembered as a hero by many nations.
Sean Smith was an Air Force veteran, he spent 10 years as an Information Management officer in the State Department. He was posted at the Haig, and was in Libya on a brief temporary assignment, he was a husband to his wife, Heather, with whom I spoke this morning, he was a father to two young children, Samantha and Nathan; they will grow up being proud of the service their father gave to our country, service that took him from Pretoria to Bagdad and finally to Banghazi.
The mission that drew Chris and Sean and their collegues to Libya is both noble and necessary, and we and the people of Libya honor their memory by carrying it forward.
This is not easy - today many Americans are asking - indeed I asked myself - how could this happen?? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated and just how compounding the world can be.
But we must be clear-eyed even in our grief, this was an attack by a small and savage group - not the people or government of Libya - everywhere that Chris and his team went in Libya, in a country scarred by war and tyranny, they were hailed as friends and partners. And when the attack came yesterday, Libyans stood and fought to defend our post - some were wounded, Libyans carried Chris' body to the hospital, and they helped rescue and lead other Americans to safety.
And last night when I spoke to the President of Libya he strongly condemned the violence and pledged every effort to protect our people and pursue those responsible.
The friendship between our countries born out of our shared struggle will not be another casualty of this attack. A free and stable Libya is still in America's interest and security. and we will not turn our back on that, nor will we rest until those responsible for these attacks are found and brought to justice, we are working closely to with the Libyan authorities to move swiftly and surely - we are also working with other partners around the world to safe-guard other American embassies, counsilettes and citizens.
There will be more time later to reflect, but today we have work to do - there is no higher priority than to protect our men and women wherever they serve.
We are working to determine the procise motivations and methods of those who carried out this assault, some have strived to justify this vicous behavior, along with the protest that took place in Cairo yesterday, as a response to an inflammatory material posted on the internet. America's commitment of religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation, but let me be clear - there is no justification for this. None - violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith. And as long as there are those who would take innocent life in the name of God, the world will never know a true and lasting peace.
It is especially difficult that this happened on September 11th, its an anniversary that means a great deal to all Americans. Every year on that day we are reminded that our work is not yet finished - that the job of putting an end to violent extremism and building a safe and stable world continues. But September 11th means even more than that - it is a day on which we remember thousands of American heroes, the bonds that connect all Americans, wherever we are on this Earth, and the values that see us through every storm. And now it is a day on which we will remember Sean, Chris, and their collegues.
May God bless them, and may God bless the thousands of Americans working in every corner of the world, that make this country the greatest force for peace/prosperity/progress and a force that has always stood for human dignity - the greatest force the world has ever known.
And may God continue to bless the United States of America.
I have several reflections -- but I will wait until later to do it ...
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