I was winding down for the night, talking to Scott on the phone, and as usual, we were hammering out some final wedding details. My phone buzzed at me, and I, realizing we'd been on the phone for an hour, thought it was my Blackberry battery dying. As I plugged my charger in to the wall, I realized it was a text message from my brother:
"Turn the tv to CNN. Crazy"
I got out of bed, and turned on the TV. Like everyone else, I was shocked to hear that Osama bin Laden had been found - and killed.
I'll admit it - my first feeling was excitement. Facebook told me of fireworks in Lincoln Park, of celebrations at Ground Zero. American flags and the National Anthem in front of the White House. Chants of "USA! USA!" on CNN, pre-empted programming across the board. The Today Show broadcasting live from Ground Zero.
"We" had been searching for him for so long, and finally this. When one of our enemies is defeated, we win.
Like everyone else, I remember where I was on 9/11/01 when I heard about the attack (11th grade English). During each of the remaining periods of the day, we watched. After work, I drove to my job at a Dry Cleaners, and watched customer after customer come in, talking about it, decompressing. It happened half a country away- and I wasn't directly harmed - and yet I hurt. I was scared. And he was responsible for this, and so, so much more. The lives he ripped, and ended, and changed forever - they are nearly limitless. He was, simply, a horrible person who did horrible things.
So, I guess this is justice, right?
No matter how justified, it feels kind of strange to celebrate - fireworks remember - when another human dies. I'm glad he's no longer alive - simply put, he did not deserve to live - but does this really change things? The terrorism threat isn't over, and what will this do - put out the fire, or fan the flames? Obama says the world is "safer" without Bin Laden, but is it? He wasn't the lone source of anti-America terrorism, and what does this do to his loyalists, to his allies?
But if not this, then what? Surely those 3,000 deserve this closure, this justice. In a way, their murderer was finally held responsible. While I was reading the coverage today, I stumbled upon photos from that day, and they made me want to personally wring the neck of the people who did this to them, to us.
I don't believe that this is the end of terrorism, and I don't believe that we're necessarily "safer" today than we were yesterday, but I do believe that those who commit crimes against us deserve to be punished... and this was his.
Further, today especially I am thankful that we have men and women literally risking their lives to protect us. I have always had a soft spot for the US military, but it's heightened today. The bravery required to make this happen is making me literally speechless. (In my opinion, that crew deserves to split the $25 Mil bounty).
What do you think? Are we better - safer - with Bin Laden dead?