In September of 2001, I was laid off. On September 11, 2001 it was two weeks until I started a new job. My friend Rachel called me a little after eight to let me know something happened in New York (this was before the second plane hit). I turned on the news and a few minutes later the second plane hit. I remember thinking this was no accident. I stayed glued to whatever news station wasn't showing commercials. I would talk to Rachel periodically letting her know the updates as the attacks on the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania happened.
I was glued to my television and did not leave my apartment for about 36 hours. I talked to various family members and friends. My little sister was upset because our brother, Evan had just graduated Air Force basic training. She was worried about him being sent out to fight. I remember talking to my friend Joe when they showed citizens in the streets of Afghanistan partying and celebrating as bodies fell one-hundred and ten stories. Lives were being lost and families were being broken.
Someone claimed responsibility and the hunt was on.
Sunday night while working, MaddSkillz asks "Is Osama Bin Laden dead?" I checked the news sites and blurbs were posted. Thanks to social media, the news was so new it wasn't news yet. We watched the preliminary reports that weren't quite accurate until President Obama came on TV.
Twitter and Facebook blew up. Jokes were made (me being part of them) with people happy because Osama Bin Laden was dead.
I sat behind my computer trying muter up some sort of "AMERICA RULES EFF YEAH!!!", but it never came. I was proud of our military as well of our president (which I'm not often) for finally finding him. Was I happy he was dead?
I felt nothing.
I didn't feel safer. I didn't feel my life was fulfilled and revenge was partaken. Then again, I'm not a 9/11 Victim's family. I'm not a victim from London, Spain, Russia, India, The USS Cole and everything else Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for. I didn't feel the personal loss as thousands of families around the world because of this man, I was justified in my feelings ten years ago because my country was hurt.
This morning America partied like we won the world series. People danced in the streets and waved flags coming on camera praising how dead Bin Laden is and celebrating his death.
My mind raced back ten years to the visual of the streets of Afghanistan celebrating the death of our people. I tried to separate the difference and say we were justified. Justice has been served, thanks to TWO presidential administrations, thousands or troops from dozens of nations, and the unifying global spirit of not backing down to a bully.
But someone is just going to take his place. There's always going to be "the next guy". I question how the victims' families are going to feel a week from now. Are they going to feel retribution now? I don't know. Bin Laden's death will not bring back the mothers and fathers and everyone else lost in all the attacks. Deep inside I think this will only be a matter of time where we'll hunger for more. We'll want more black ops, and more updates from the cool and hip president.
It's Call of Duty Syndrome. We've grown so cynical when it comes to on demand gratification, we're looking for the next level and the next head shot.
My kids (except MaddSkillz) have no clue, and probably will never know about the name Osama Bin Laden for a very long time. While his death is certainly a symbolic victory in the War on Terror, it is not a reason for a navy personnel grabbing random nurses in times square to plant one on them. But my kids are still going to wake up and watch SpongeBob in the morning before school. They will still not want to eat their dinner when we make it for them. They will operate and be the same kids they've always been.
I love history, and I am glad I'm smack dab in the middle of it. It's not going to end now that Bin Laden is dead.