Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Tuesday pledged that the United States will find and punish terrorists who bombed two U.S. embassies in East Africa.
"America is very proud of you, all of you - Americans and Tanzanians," Albright said after donning hard hat and leather gloves to tour remains of the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. "I am truly in the presence of heroes."Together, we promise to bring to justice the murderers of our friends," she said before flying to Nairobi, site of the second Aug. 7 bombing.
In Dar es Salaam, she spoke to about 200 embassy workers at the home of John Lange, head of the U.S. mission in Tanzania. She presented Lange and workers the State Department's award for heroism.
"Your bravery and compassion and courage have been recognized around the world," she said. "And the terrorists who would like to drive us apart have, in fact, brought us all closer,"
Her one-day tour of Dar es Salaam and Nairobi was aimed at showing support for East Africans devastated by the terrorists attacks and to demonstrate resolve in the face of terrorism.
Albright's trip to Nairobi was delayed by two hours Tuesday after an engine on her military jet overheated. She and her entourage transferred to smaller planes for the trip from Dar es Salaam.
State Department spokesman James Foley said of the morale-boosting visit, "This is mostly an opportunity, literally, to hold hands with a whole range of people who have suffered."
The two bombings killed 257 people, including 12 Americans in Nairobi, and injured more than 5,500.
Albright pledged to ask Congress to approve a still-undetermined amount of emergency funding to pay for re-establishing embassy operations in Tanzania and Kenya and to compensate families who "suffered irreparable harm."
During her visit to Dar es Salaam, Albright visited Tanzanians still recovering at the Muhimbili Medical Center. She also announced a gift of 500 pounds of medical supplies to Tanzania and Kenya from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center near Washington.
Albright laid a wreath at the blackened remains of the front part of the embassy in Tanzania where a crater marks the spot where the front gate used to be. She also presented to Marine guards the tattered U.S. flag that had flown over the embassy and helped place a poster offering $2 million for information leading to conviction of the bomber.
Albright walked up to the roof of the embassy, passing through rooms filled with shattered glass and ruined equipment scattered in piles on the floor.