Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11th Memorial Bookends Attacks with Exhibit Featuring Part of Navy SEAL's Uniform From Bin Laden Raid

The uniform shirt a US Navy SEAL wore during the 2011 raid on the compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan where Osama Bin Laden was hiding went on display this week at New York's September 11th museum earlier this week.

The shirt joins a specially made coin awarded to a CIA operative after the mission and a brick from Bin Laden's compound that go on display at the National September 11th Memorial and Museum this week. The coin was struck after the successful completion of the Abbotabad raid and was reportedly issued to the participating SEALs and an agent known as Maya, who was the basis of the main character portrayed in the 2012 movie Zero Dark Thirty.

"The death of Osama bin Laden is a huge part of the history, and we have an absolute obligation to tell it," National Sept. 11 Memorial Museum President Joe Daniels said Saturday. The display, he said, "allows millions of visitors the chance to recognize the extraordinary bravery of the men and women who sacrifice so much for this country at home and abroad."

The uniform shirt, tan with camouflage sleeves and an American flag patch on the right shoulder — stars forward to invoke the historical role of a flag-bearer leading a charge into battle — belonged to a now-retired member of SEAL Team Six, which put an end to the long manhunt for the world's most wanted terrorist. The garment "connects us in a powerful and immediate way to that operation," Museum Director Alice Greenwald said.

The red, white and blue coin was made to commemorate its conclusion. The coin bears the date — May 1, 2011, in U.S. time — on one side and a red "X'' on the other.

Opened to the public in May, this would mark the first time that the September 11th Museum is open on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. A memorial for the people killed in the September 11th attacks was opened in 2012.

Even before the museum opened, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) petitioned the museum to edit a video presentation on Al Qaeda, urging them to remove phrases like 'jihad' and 'radical islam' from the presentation. The museum's board reportedly declined any such edit.

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