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Monday, May 2, 2011

Ten Years Later

I had a different post prepared for today, but in light of recent activity, I'm posting this instead....

On September 11, 2001, I was driving to work listening to the Mark & Brian show on the radio when I first heard about the planes hitting the Twin Towers.

I was riveted.

I was scared.

My first thought was that this had to be a cruel joke. Next, I thought of my parents and sister, who were living in Yangon, Myanmar at the time. Did they know? Were they safe? Would they be evacuated?

I didn't know if I should turn around and go home or continue on my way to work.

I went into work because surely this was a mistake. A terrible mistake. A hoax.

It wasn't.

No one got any work done that day. We were all huddled together and glued to computer screens and the televisions set up in the break rooms.

The footage that kept playing over and over was like something out of a movie. People plummeting to their deaths and smoke and ash and debris.

Nearly 3000 innocent lives were taken that day.

It was a very somber time in our nation's history.

That was nearly ten years ago.

Yesterday, Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda and the man responsible for the September 11 attacks was killed by United States Navy SEALs.

Normally, I avoid political talk like the plague.

I'm not a big fan of heated discussions, but I do have strong opinions about a women's right to choice, teaching religion in our public schools, the right to bare arms, heath care reform and taxes.

I am proud to be an American and I am proud of our armed forces. I appreciate every freedom I have as an American citizen and I vote.

The killing of bin Laden has been weighting heavily on my mind today.

On one hand, I truly hope that anyone that suffered a loss ten years ago due to the September 11 attacks feels a bit more peace today, but on the other hand, I can't help but pose the question: now what?

Has justice really been served?

I don't believe the "eye for an eye" principle works.

Our nation has been at war for 10 years! Does finding and slaying bin Laden mean our troops get to come home?

Is it morally wrong to celebrate the assassination of bin Laden in such a festive and patriotic way? Should we celebrate the death of anyone?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but they are worth asking and they are on my mind today.

The Vatican released this statement this morning and while I also like to avoid discussions about religion, it really helped me realize the confliction I am feeling about the death of bin Laden.

“Osama Bin Laden - as everyone knows - has had the gravest responsibility for spreading hatred and division among people, causing the deaths of countless people, and exploiting religion for this purpose.

Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.”

I wish our nation and our world peace.

What do you think of Osama bin Laden's death?

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Blogger Jessica said...

I still remember that moment on 9/11 when I heard about the attacks. It was hard to believe it was real at first. I hadn't heard that comment from the Vatican but hopeful peace grows out of the recent events instead of more hatred.

May 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Im with you on this one.
I saw this quote (Not sure who said it sorry) but it describes my feelings today.
"Considering what we've lost over the last decade I can't help but wish this was a moment of more peaceful, humble reflection instead of chanting, chest thumping and flag waving"

May 2, 2011 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

My quote on Facebook today sums up my feelings about all this: "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
I couldn't believe that this morning I saw a group of men running down Sunset Blvd. screaming and happily chanting hoots and "yays" and waving an American flag.

May 2, 2011 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this comment - beautifully said...our sentiments exactly.

May 2, 2011 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

Well written and well expressed. Thank you for sharing. I had not heard that quote but i can appreciate how it impacted you.

May 2, 2011 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger XLMIC said...

In agreement... with the words of your post, the comments above, the Vatican's quote (hard to believe :P) and the MLK Jr quote. Violence and killing is not a solution or an answer.

May 2, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll never forget that morning. I thought planes were falling out of the sky above my head. (I'm in the air space between NYC & DC.)

I feel like we got justice, but I don't know if we are safer.

May 2, 2011 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Oh, I love this post! You know, I also feel conflicted. I think in so many ways, the celebration of Osama bin Laden's death speaks to our nation's perception of him not as a man, but as a very powerful symbol of fear, hatred, and evil. I think many celebrate his death because it marks, what they perceive to be the death of that powerful symbol, a symbol that in some cases has served us in defining who we, as Americans, are and are not. I rejoice in the fact that he's gone, but given his symbolic purpose in our nation in essentially defining our post 9/11 identity,I know it all is so much more complicated than that.

May 3, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Suebug said...

I agree very much with Leah's quote, but I also can't help but be glad that he is dead. It's confusing and complicated....

May 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Sluiter Nation said...

i agree with this post.

i felt very conflicted. not like what i thought i would feel like.

it sort of made me sick to watch people CELEBRATE a death like it was a wedding or an NBA championship.

at the same time i felt like being sickened by the rejoicing somehow made me less patriotic.

i am glad we took down such a leader of hate.

i am never glad that people have to die. and I do believe he had to die. but it makes me sad that this is our world.

May 4, 2011 at 3:27 PM  

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