It’s official; memorabilia from the mission that led to Osama bin Laden’s death is now on display at Ground Zero. The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City announced the exhibit on Sunday morning in a widely distributed press release.
According to the museum, the bin Laden exhibit includes such choice items as a shirt worn by one of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 members who was part of the raid on a house in Pakistan that led to Osama bin Laden’s death. The shirt’s sleeve has an American patch that is colored black and brown.
In fact, it is the shirt worn by the very person who shot bin Laden, according to sources for the New York Post.
“This shirt is a symbol of the bravery of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6, who risked their lives,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney told the Post. Maloney was the key person who brokered the deal to get the shirt on display.
The shooter’s identity has never been publicly revealed out of concerns for his safety, and his name will not be on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum display. The unidentified bin Laden shooter even cancelled a meeting with families of 9/11 victims because of his need to keep his identity secret.
On May 2, 2011, the SEAL member who shot Osama bin Laden was wearing the shirt when he fired three shots that led to the al Qaeda leader’s demise. The nighttime raid took place in Abbottabad, Pakistan in a house where bin Laden and several other people were living.
The note on the exhibit only states that it was worn by one of the SEAL members who was in bin Laden’s house that night and will not be identified as the shirt worn by the actual shooter.
Overall, the exhibit tells the story of the years-long hunt for Osama bin Laden.
It includes a so-called challenge coin, donated by “Maya,” the alias for the CIA operative who doggedly pursued bin Laden for years.
“This exhibit not only captures a seminal moment in American history, it also 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,” 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels said in a statement, published by the Gothamist. “I have had the distinct honor to meet the man who wore this shirt into battle and donated it to represent the heroic efforts of Seal Team 6 for their execution of Operation Neptune Spear. I thank him and ‘Maya’–both for their bravery, courage and determination, which provided a measure of justice for every single American, and for entrusting us with these artifacts of such national and international importance.”
Another item in the exhibit is a brick from the compound where the al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed.