(CNN) - There were no squeals of delight or cell phones held high to capture photos Tuesday when President Barack Obama thanked workers at the nation's Joint Terrorism Task Force headquarters in New York for keeping the country safe.
The room of security specialists - most in formal business attire - listened quietly and stood to applaud when Obama finished his brief speech, with some shaking the president's hand before he left the stage.
The task force was formed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to unify the nation's counterterrorism response. Obama praised the unit, which comprises personnel from more than 40 federal, state and local agencies, for the cooperation and effectiveness of its work.
"Your success in thwarting terrorist attacks, the strong intelligence you've gathered, and the hard-nosed investigations you've pursued has proved to be a model for law enforcement officials across the country," Obama said. "And for that, you should all be extremely proud."
While more reserved than the usually exuberant crowds at Obama events, the audience laughed when Obama, after noting that most New Yorkers or Americans probably didn't know where the task force office was or what the workers did, said: "Obviously, you're not doing it for the glamour or the glory or the pay."
"You do it to serve and protect your country," the president said. "And because of the effort and sacrifices that you're making on a daily basis, we are making real progress on our core missions of disrupting and dismantling and ultimately defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies."
However, Obama also warned that "no one can ever promise that there won't be another attack on America's soil."
"But I can promise you this," he continued. "I pledge to do everything in my power as president of the United States to keep the American people safe, and that means I pledge to give all of you the tools and the support that you need to get the job done, both here at home and around the world. And I pledge that I will stay as focused on this mission as you are."