By Jill Dougherty
Who can forget the photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet in the White House Situation Room, all eyes riveted on a monitor out of view of the camera, watching - real time - as Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden?
Many people remarked on the image of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who sat in the middle of the room with her right hand covering her mouth and her eyes wide open.
Almost a year after the raid in Pakistan, Clinton described what it was like to be in that room that night.
"I'm not sure anyone breathed for, you know, 35 or 37 minutes," she said, answering questions Tuesday evening from future officers at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, after a foreign policy speech.
One of the worst moments for her, she said, was when the tail of one of the helicopters participating in the operation got stuck and it took time to get the next reserve helicopter in. "We could see or hear nothing when they (the Navy SEAL team) went into the house. There was no communication or feedback coming, so it was during that time period everyone was particularly focused on just trying to keep calm and keep prepared as to what would happen, and we got the word that they thought they had killed bin Laden."
"It was imperative that we take the body," she continued, "and the decision had to be made to blow up the disabled helicopter which didn't completely work because of the way it was positioned. So the SEALs had to take the women and children out of the house to get them away from the site of where the disabled helicopter was. You didn't want any collateral damage. All of this is happening, you know, the body is going out, the women and children are coming in, the reserve helicopter is on its way but it is not there yet, you know there was a lot of breath-holding and then finally all the helicopters were up and out and on their way back to Afghanistan."
But it wasn't over.
"Then we had to wait to make sure the body really was bin Laden's. You had visual identification but you needed DNA. And there was the immediate DNA and then you had to, you wanted to be absolutely sure and so the second DNA test would take longer but I think everyone was finally comfortable with concluding that, yes, you know, he was there, we did get him, they were sure of it."
At that point, Obama left the Situation Room and went to the Oval Office to address the nation, Clinton said.
After the speech, as she and other officials walked down the Colonnade near the Oval Office, "we heard this roar, we had no idea what it was."
It was cheers and shouts from people - most of them students - who spontaneously had gathered at the gates of the White House.
"Many of them, like many of you, were children when we were attacked and this had been part of your consciousness for as long as you can remember," she told the Naval cadets, referring to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.
"So listening to those cheers, feeling the relief that came from knowing that it was a job very well done, and for me personally, having the sense that for many of those who lost their loved ones, who had been grievously injured during that attack whom I knew personally that they could, in a way they hadn't been able to the day before, think about the future, and I was very, very pleased."