ABC News' Tahman Bradley reports:
Encouraging graduates to serve others, First Lady Michelle Obama today described the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden as "the very essence of public service."
The comments, which were made during a commencement address at the University of Northern Iowa, were Mrs. Obama’s first public comments since the U.S. government announced that bin Laden had been killed at his compound in Pakistan.
"Just imagine, a small group of brave men, dropped by helicopter, half a world away in the dead of night … into unknown danger inside the lair of the most sought after man in the world. They did not hesitate, risking everything for us, for our freedom and security," Mrs. Obama said.
"And they did it not just as Navy SEALs. They did it as husbands, as fathers, as sons. Their families were back here, with no idea of their mission or whether their loved one would ever come home. That is the very essence of the word "service.'"
Yesterday, at a White House tea for military families, Dr. Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, also mentioned the military operation.
"The heroic action in Pakistan earlier this week reminds all Americans of the courage military service members and their family members demonstrate on a daily basis," she said.
In Iowa, the first lady also talked about what the state has meant to the entire Obama family. After all, Barack Obama won the 2008 Democratic presidential contest kick-off, the Iowa Caucuses, after a long campaign there.