Washington: Amid celebrations marking his second term in office, US President Barack Obama addressed the American armed forces, thanking them for getting the prized scalp of Osama bin Laden, touted as Obama single biggest achievement till date.
Obama said "extraordinary gratitude" was due to the soldiers from not only their commander-in-chief but from all American people.
"Today, we experience the majesty of our democracy; a ritual only possible in a form of government that is of, and by and for the people; a day made possible because there are patriots like each and every one of you who defend our freedom every single day," he said.
"It`s because of you that with honour we were able to end the war in Iraq. Because of you that we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. Because of you that it`s even possible to give Afghans a chance to determine their own destiny," Obama said in his brief address to the US Armed forces at the Commander-in-Chief`s ball.
The Obama administration that inherited major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the previous Bush administration, wrapped up the war in Iraq and is working on a drawdown plan in Afghanistan.
"We are going forward, and we`ll keep our military the finest fighting force that the world has ever known," he said, as he also addressed troops in Afghanistan through live video conferencing.
"So this little party is just another way to say something we can never say enough: thank you," he said amidst applause from the audience.
Addressing the US troops in Kandahar, Obama lauded the incredible sacrifices and challenges that the soldiers have to meet every single day.
"I want you to know that when I was standing on the steps of the Capitol today, looking out over close to a million people, the single-biggest cheer that I always get -- and today was no different at my Inauguration -- was when I spoke about the extraordinary men and women in uniform that preserve our freedom and keep our country strong.
"So know that every single day we are thinking of you," Obama said.
US Vice-President, Joe Biden, addressed the American troops in S Korea from the Commander-in-Chief`s ball.
He introduced himself, saying "I am Joe Biden, I am Jill Biden`s husband. You are the heart and soul of this nation".
He called them the "finest warriors the world has ever seen" as he danced to Ray Charles` "I Can`t Stop Loving You," performed by Jamie Foxx.