President Barack Obama opened his U.N. General Assembly speech by eulogizing the fallen American ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens, who was killed in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, "the city he helped to save."
Obama portrayed Stevens as an American patriot who "embodied the best of America," an Arabic speaker who gained a deep understanding of the countries where he served and built bridges with foreign cultures. He died, Obama said, while helping to set up new culture center and hospital in Benghazi.
The U.S. president tried to draw a contrast between the optimism represented by Stevens life with that of the forces of extremism simmering beneath the surface in the Middle East. "We must reaffirm," he said, that our future will be determined by people like Christopher Stevens, not his killers."
Follow me on Twitter @columlynch and stay tuned to Turtle Bay for breaking news from the General Assembly.
Longtime Washington Post correspondent Colum Lynch reports on all things United Nations for Turtle Bay.