Osama’s Death Announced Exactly Eight Years After ‘Mission Accomplished’ Speech

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Reuters / Larry Downing

Bush delivering a speech to crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, as the carrier steamed toward San Diego, California on May 1, 2003

In addition to occurring the same day that Hitler was announced dead, Osama bin Laden’s death offers recent historical coincidence by marking the eighth anniversary of another significant event in the war on terror.

(More on TIME.com: See the Top 10 Defining Moments of the Post-9/11 Era)

On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush gave a televised speech during which he told Americans that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”  The address has since become known as his “Mission Accomplished” speech because the President spoke in front of a large banner with that phrase displayed on the USS Abraham Lincoln. In a theatrical photo op, Bush arrived at the event dressed in a flight suit and made an arrested landing from the naval aircraft carrier.

As in the case of bin Laden’s death, the speech was highly publicized as a symbolic rather than a strategic victory. But many argue that considering it a victory of any sort is completely off the mark because it did not actually signify the end of the fighting in Iraq. The Atlantic reports that at the time of the speech, “American casualties stood at 139 killed and 542 wounded,” but on May 1, 20011, the U.S. fatalities total “over 4,000.”

Bush has since described the decision to use the Mission Accomplished banner as a “mistake.”

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of bin Laden’s hideout)

(More on TIME.com: See our continuing coverage of bin Laden)