President Obama, VP Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Panetta and Secretary of State Clinton are at Andrews Air Force Base to receive the remains of the four U.S. citizens killed in Libya this week, including those of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The four Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate at Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday, during a wave of protests that continue across the region. Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were the others killed in the attack, all of them veterans and State Department employees.
The protests, which have led to arrests in Yemen and Egypt and have prompted State Department warnings about travel in the predominantly Arab states, were likely sparked by a movie that portrays the Muslim Prophet Mohammad in a negative light, but many analysts agree that they are the result of long-simmering tensions in the region.
President Obama, speaking of those who died, said "they didn't simply embrace the American ideal. They lived it."
"Even in our grief, we will be resolute," he said. "For we are Americans."
Secretary Clinton, speaking about the four men who were killed and the ensuing violence across the region said, "we’ve seen rage and violence over an awful Internet video we had nothing to do with."
"This work and the men and women that risk their lives to do it, are at the heart of what makes America great and good," she said.