With public and media interest in the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden still running high, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Monday delivered more than 1,200 messages of thanks and support to the Virginia-based unit that did the deed.
Though the identities of the SEALs on the Pakistan mission will likely never be made public, Warner set up a message board on his Senate Web site to allow people to pay tribute to the elite commandoes.
The messages poured in from all over the country and the world, and Warner handed them off to SEAL commanders in the Hampton Roads area at a private meeting Monday morning. “The messages come from military families, veterans, entire schools and hundreds of Virginians who simply wanted an opportunity to say ‘thanks’ to these remarkable warriors,” Warner said in a statement released by his office.
You can read excerpts from those messages that were released by Warner’s office after the jump.
• “As a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, it is all too easy to take the military for granted. We are your neighbors, classmates, and friends. We are blessed to have you.”
• “A huge thank you and to let you know how proud we are from Mr. Underwood’s 5th grade class at Rocky Gap, Va. Elementary School!”
• “Our 2nd grader came home from school and said, ‘Our guys killed a very bad man who hurt those people in the twin towers. We got him, Mommy.’ Yes, we did. Thank you.”
• “I was five when Bin Laden and Al Qaeda attacked the twin towers, and I have never truly felt safe since. Thank you for giving that back to me. You all have inspired me to join the United States military when I am older.”
• “Most of the time no one knows what you do, where you do it or even if you actually exist. We still don’t know who you are, but we do know what you did. Thank you.”
• “This Marine mom wants to thank you so much for your service! We rest easier knowing you are out there protecting us.”
• ”I have no words to describe the men who were on this mission. I never realized ordinary men could be so extraordinary.”
• “As the daughter of a career Navy Senior Chief, I wish he had lived long enough to hear about what you all did. He would have smiled and said, ‘Damn right -- they’re Navy!’”
• “From a Navy officer who lost a friend on the USS Cole and a colleague at the Pentagon on 9/11: Many of us who have fought and served for these many years can now feel vindicated and proud.”
• “We are all so proud of you and so thankful for your service to Virginia, the nation, and the world. You do us proud.”
• “My family in NY who lost a loved one on Sept 11 is forever indebted to all of you.”
• “You have provided an opportunity for every American to move beyond the grief and horror of 9/11 and face our future with confidence and pride. That is huge.”
• “How do you thank someone who saves the world? I will pay it forward. Thank you for being a hero to my kids.”