A year ago, President Obama just said, "the notion of a free Libya" seemed far-fetched.
But today, with the death of ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the "dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted" in that North African nation, the president added.
During remarks from the Rose Garden of the White House, the president hailed the U.S. and coalition forces that protected Libyans, hailed the civilians there who "broke the back of the regime" and called on Libyans to build on this "momentus day" in their history.
"Libya will travel a long and winding road to full democracy," the president said, and "there will be difficult days ahead."
But, said Obama, a brutal dictator who denied his people their basic rights is now gone.