I remember where I was on the morning of September 11th. I had just arrived in the Papa John building for my Computer Analysis class and even though I saw a crowd around the TV in the lobby, I hurried to my classroom so I could get a good seat before our quiz. I remember thinking it was really weird that so few people had showed up to class, especially since we had a quiz that day we were told about in advance. I finished up my quiz and as those of us that had showed up to class were getting ready for the lesson our instructor told us that we should go home, that there had been a terrorist attack in New York.
I started the walk to Cory’s apartment, and when I got there he and his roommates were glued to the TV. I sat and watched for a bit, until I saw the footage of people dancing in the streets across the world in celebration of the American tragedy. It turned my stomach and I went off to Cory’s room and sat by myself and cried.
I went to my other classes, and as the evening arrived and I walked again past a gas station where cars were lined up down the street to fill up I had an overwhelming feeling of fear and sadness. I called my dad. Just hearing his voice made me feel a little better, knowing that even though the world may never be the same, he was there, and I was so thankful.
This past Sunday night I was getting ready for bed when I heard that the president was about to speak about an issue of national security. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was a bit scared that there was a nuke with our name on it headed right this way. When the news hit, I had a sense of relief come over me, followed by a little bit of joy, that was quickly followed with a feeling of guilt and sadness over rejoicing the death of another human. I have continued to struggle with these feelings the more I have read about the end of Osama Bin Laden’s life.
On the one hand I am so proud of the United States military, the CIA, the Navy Seals and President Obama and his security team. So proud. I am relieved to know that a very hateful person is no longer able to spread his poisonous rhetoric and violence. But on the other hand, I am sad that the cycle of revenge is continuing. I am satisfied with the outcome, and thankful to the troops that disposed of his body with respect for his religion, and for his family. It is what it should be. The outcome is a good one, but I can’t find it in me to celebrate death. I celebrate the men and women who took this mission on at all levels and I hope that it has brought some peace to OBL’s victims all over the world. I have hope, though honestly not a lot of it, that this can be the beginning of the end of terrorism on this Earth, and I have fear that it is only the beginning.