Now What . . .

May 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.” ~Barack Obama

All Americans of age will remember where they were on September 11, 2001.  Now, all of them will remember May 1, 2011.  I was doing my nightly routine of watching Adult Swim on cartoon network when something popped up in my Facebook news feed.  “Presidential speech at 10:30. Wonder what it’s about.”  If you know me, you know that I am all about some Barack Obama.  “What speech?” I thought.  Surely I would have known if the President of the United States was going to address the nation.  Then it hit me. 10:30? An unprecedented hour.  As I flipped though all the networks, ABC, NBC, hell, even FOX, and saw nothing at 10:40, 10:50, I begin to worry.  Something is wrong.   I log back into Facebook to make sure that I read the time right. 

My entire news feed read “Osama bin Laden Dead” or something of the sorts.  Initially, like others, I breathed a sigh of relief.  It wasn’t bad news.  Our country wasn’t going to war.  The government wasn’t shutting down. We just finally got Osama bin Laden.  I turned to CNN and listened as Wolf gave me the limited details available.  That’s when I saw the crowds at the White House chanting “USA,” and singing the National Anthem.  Just like I did nearly 10 years ago, I thought “Oh shit! This is not going to end well.”

September 11, I cried. I felt empathy for my country for the first time.  I was angry.  I saw extremist chanting “Death to America.” I cursed them. I listened intently as George W. Bush told me that the United States would find those responsible, and punish them.  I cheered for the bad-assery of my president. Then I realized what that meant. All my friends who joined the military simply to finance college were now in danger.  Our country was no longer a safe haven.  On Sunday night, the same occurred.  I took solace in the fact that we finally found who we were looking for.  When I saw my countrymen acting in the same manner, rejoicing in death, I knew this was not the end. 

Osama bin Laden is dead. His body was buried at sea to prevent martyrdom.  But a martyr he is.  Those who ascribe to his philosophy will not disband because of his death.  Sure, there is no place to mourn him, no grave site to visit and make a shrine.  But his spirit, his legacy, his ideologies live on.  I don’t know what happens next.  My emotions are all confused.  I sincerely hope that September 11 is the worst attack that will ever occur on American soil, but the uncertainty disturbs me.

To Barack Obama I say, thank you sir for making a hard call.  To our Armed Forces I say, thank you for protecting me.  To my fellow citizens I say, I understand your sentiments, I understand the desire for justice to be done, but let us not forget how we felt as we were searching for our dead as others were chanting death to our country.

I will pray for my country, and this world a little harder from now on!


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