Today is May 2, 2011.
As I once reflected on the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001, I found it only fitting to also reflect on today - the day that President Obama announced the assassination of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
The world is so much different today than it was a few short years thence. Instead of hearing of his demise on the television or the radio, I was alerted that he was (likely) dead on Facebook of all places. But this is now how the world connects with itself. Once I saw this post by a friend I quickly went to the internet proper to verify. I waited a good half hour for the official word from President Obama being broadcast live from the White House website. I sat solemnly and listened. I felt irrevocably part of something so much bigger than myself . . . the war and the fighting were suddenly so part of my American identity. Politics has made me calloused and cold towards any of our doings, nationally or globally. But this all brought my oneness to light. WE fought. WE discovered. WE prevailed. No matter how consciously or subconsciously I distance myself from external events, in the grand scheme, the be all and end all, I am an American. Solidified by our leader. Compelled to wait for his word. It is a curious feeling to reflect upon.
And who could have imagined how polarized and extreme the reaction was. My feed exploded with joy, snarky jest, stern contemplation; so vast and varying.
And the celebration! In the streets! D.C. and NYC - masses upon masses rising up to take comfort and exclaim their relief and perhaps crazed zealotry . . . . . . that is the aspect that startles me most.
I am so much reminded of how I felt when I watched Saddam Hussein's hanging. Which, I suppose, is difficult to articulate. I was appalled to be witness to such archaic "justice" in my lifetime.
But I suppose it is heartening to see so many I am friends with question. Question our reactions; our immediate, seemingly universal rejoice. I actually saw some older woman shout at Goodwill this morning, upon being wished a nice day, that it was a great day! Osama's dead!
I am not so deluded to think that this outcome wasn't warranted, or even necessary from a military and national security standpoint. But I will certainly respect the solemnity of his life, and those he affected. Cautiously. Pensively. And just can not raise a flag and be joyous.
There will most certainly be more violence to come.