Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No Dancing in the Streets for Me

By Christine Clark

Osama Bin Ladin and the evil he represented took up way too much time and space in my life. I only hope and pray that the world becomes more free from the evil he personified and the subsequent evil he and those like him spawned throughout the world.

Happy isn’t the correct word to describe my feelings about the death of Osama Bin Ladin. I feel a sense of relief, more like the way I feel when a task has been completed, a big one—a task that took far too long to complete. I also feel myself questioning, “Where do we go from here?”
I don’t know. I don’t have privileged access to situation rooms or to data on covert operations. I leave those responsibilities to those whom I hope will treat such access with the gravity they deserve.
In the meantime, I’m sleepy. Sleepy because I was wakened from a sound sleep late Sunday evening by my Marine-to-be son announcing the death of Bin Ladin. I’m overwrought from reading news and pondering what the next steps in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be. I’m on mental overdrive with concern about our country and retaliation from those who believe their honored leader was felled by the United States.
I’m also embarrassed. In the hours after 9-11, I watched in horror as terrorist supporters danced in their streets and cheered the falling of the towers, and the crushing of the Pentagon, and a plane crash in a Pennsylvania field. Those people danced on the graves of our loved ones who perished in the most heinous act of terror ever visited upon our land. Throughout Sunday evening and all day Monday, news videos and photographs of Americans dancing in the streets and cheering and waving flags reminded me of that awful celebration.
I feel a profound sense of relief that the worst terrorist of our time is now unable to torment our country and our fundamental principles of freedom. But I did not want my country’s reaction to mirror those who celebrated on September 11, 2001.
So, no, I’m not dancing in the streets happy. Not yet. I will save that enthusiasm for the day every last American soldier arrives on United States soil from Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. At that time, I will cheer and wave flags and celebrate the freedom we have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to achieve.

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