People react differently to the death of a dread foe.
Seeing images in the media of so many jubilant American faces taking to the streets on news of Osama Bin Laden’s reported death, I have one very vivid memory from a decade ago.
On September 12, 2001 … the thing that most appalled me was seeing news reports of people in Middle Eastern countries dancing in the streets and celebrating the 9/11 attacks and the deaths of so many people.
Maybe it’s a remnant of my Christian upbringing, but I cannot imagine cheering anyone’s death. Ever.
I understand expressing relief that one of the biggest boogeymen of all time is no longer a threat. But instead of celebrating by dancing in the streets and setting off fireworks, perhaps a more appropriate response is quiet contemplation of how we’ve changed as a people since 9/11.
Instead of focusing on one dead man who now joins Hitler, Pol Pot and Idi Amin in the pantheon of dead tyrants and mass murderers, I suggest it’s finally time we turn our full attention to thinking of the families ripped apart both by 9/11 attacks and subsequently by the more than 6,000 military deaths of some of the brightest and most capable young Americans and our allies from Europe, Canada, Australia, and South Africa – deaths it took to stop this one man.
Our collective reaction to the actions of this one madman has permanently changed the American government, it has changed how Americans view their place on this planet, and it has changed American culture and how we define ourselves as American.
The damage wrought by Osama Bin Laden and the men who put him in power is not over. The impact of his evil is permanent – and 10 years in, we are just beginning to realize how much we’ve changed – for the better and for the worse as a country and as a society.
Although I am relieved by his absence from this planet and removing him will thwart future harm, it does not fix the damage Osama Bin Laden has already wrought on my country, my culture and my people.
- News Of Osama Bin Laden’s Death Spreads Like Wildfire On Twitter (techcrunch.com)
- Primetime interrupted: Osama bin Laden dead (insidetv.ew.com)
- 911 Mastermind Bin Laden Dead (dakotavoice.com)