President Obama's statements on the death of Osama bin Laden ushered in one of the greatest moments of collective catharsis in American history. Though only nine minutes in length, the excellent speech managed to incorporate tactical details, an acknowledgment of profound grief, an entreaty for religious tolerance, and, finally, a patriotic rallying cry.

This was how bin Laden came to be executed by American forces:

"Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. 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."

And here are some resonant phrases from elsewhere in the speech:

  • "...hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless, September sky..."
  • "...the empty seat at the dinner table..."
  • "...a gaping hole in our hearts..."
  • "...no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to..."
  • "...it took many months to run this thread to ground..."
  • "...we must and we will remain vigilant..."
  • "...the United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam..."
  • "...bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass-murderer of Muslims..."
  • "...the American people did not choose this fight..."
  • "...we will be relentless in defense of our citizens..."
  • "...we have never forgotten your loss..."
  • "...America can do whatever we set our mind to..."