Perseverance. In the end, the United States never gave up looking for Osama Bin Laden, the terrorist leader who made Sept. 11 our national nightmare.
It’s been a decade. However, for the nearly 3,000 people who perished—whether they were merely coming to work in lower Manhattan, or firefighters and other first responders who were attempting to save lives, or those aboard the fated flight that crashed in Pennsylvania—Bin Laden’s death on Sunday at the hands of our military may provide some measure of closure for their loved ones.
For the financial services industry, for Wall Street, the impact has special meaning. So many lives were lost at the World Trade Center and investment banking and brokerage firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, was particularly hard hit.
As Howard W. Lutnick, the chairman and chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald, wrote on the firm’s website: “It's been a long and painful 10 years since the worst attack in America's history. Now no other families will suffer the way that so many families have from his hand. On behalf of all those who perished, our heartfelt thanks go to the military and intelligence community and all those who have served our country with perseverance and fortitude and courage to bring this terrorist to justice and to make this a safer and saner world.”
President Obama, in his special address from The White House to the nation last night, described the mission that led to Bin Laden’s demise. “A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body.”
But the President also cautioned that Bin Laden’s “death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must—and we will—remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
That’s the sad part. Even though we wiped out the most significant terrorist of our time, the threat of his organization still remains with us. So, we still have challenges ahead. However, at least for now, we can take solace that we got Bin Laden.