President Barack Obama on Friday honored the four Americans killed in an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, recalling their lives in deeply personal terms and declaring the United States will never pull back on its principles or 'retreat from the world.'
As the ceremony began, the coffins of the four men were taken from a military transport plane by serving officers and placed inside four hearse's that were parked under a giant handing stars and stripes as a military band played.
'Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. We will bring to justice those who took them from us,' said President Barack Obama during his speech as he added that 'Chris Stevens was everything America could want in an ambassador.'
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President Obama and Hilary Clinton spoke at the solemn 'transfer of remains' ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base today as the bodies of four American citizens killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were returned home
'The United States of America will never retreat from the world,' continued the president.
'We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every (person) deserves. ... That’s the essence of American leadership. ... That was their work in Benghazi, and that is the work we will carry on.'
Opening his tribute to the dead consulate staff members, Mr. Obama spoke of Christopher Stevens and said he, 'was everything America could want in an ambassador.'
'Four Americans, four patriots. They loved this country. They chose to serve it, and served it well,' said Obama.
He also spoke movingly about Department of State employee Sean Smith and the two former Navy SEALS Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Wood who perished in the attack.
'They had a mission they believed in. They knew the danger, and they accepted it.
'They didn't simply embrace the American ideal, they lived it; they embodied it. The courage, the hope, and yes, the idealism - that fundamental American belief that we could leave this world a little better than before.'
At the beginning and at the end of his remarks, Mr. Obama cited John 15:13 from the Bible: 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.'
Mr. Obama said the four dead Americans laid down his life 'in service to us all.'
'Their sacrifice will never be forgotten,' said President Obama.
U.S. Marines move flag draped transfer cases of the remains of the four Americans killed this week from a transport plane during the Transfer of Remains Ceremony, at Andrews Air Force Base
The bodies of Americans Sean Smith, Glen A. Doherty, Tyrone S. Woods and Christopher Stevens were taken from a military transport plane as a military band played
Carry teams move flag draped transfer cases of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya, from a transport plane during the Transfer of Remains Ceremony on Friday
US Marines carry the caskets during the transfer of remains ceremony marking the return to the US of the remains of the four Americans killed in an attack this week in Benghazi, Libya.
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