Center for Strategic Communication

Marines During the Transfer of Remains Ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Sept. 14, 2012

Marines carry the flag draped transfer cases during the transfer of remains ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Sept. 14, 2012, marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya.

September 14, 2012.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Friday afternoon, President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary Clinton were at Andrews Air Force Base for the Transfer of Remains Ceremony which marked the return to the United States of the remains of the four brave Americans who were killed this week in Benghazi, Libya.

At the solemn ceremony that honored the fallen diplomats – Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith and Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens — President Obama paid tribute to four patriots who served their country and shared a “fundamental American belief that we can leave this world a little better than before.”

The President promised the families and colleagues of the fallen heroes that their sacrifice would never be forgotten. He also noted the outpouring of sympathy from the people of Libya, who called Ambassador Stevens a friend: 

That’s the message these four patriots sent. That’s the message that each of you sends every day — civilians, military — to people in every corner of the world, that America is a friend, and that we care not just about our own country, not just about our own interests, but about theirs; that even as voices of suspicion and mistrust seek to divide countries and cultures from one another, the United States of America will never retreat from the world.  We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every person deserves, whatever their creed, whatever their faith. 

That’s the essence of American leadership. That’s the spirit that sets us apart from other nations. This was their work in Benghazi, and this is the work we will carry on. 

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