Being curious fourth grade girls, my friends and I opened our letters on the bus ride home. Soon after finding out about the attack, we regretted our infantile decision and were scared to walk from the bus stop home.
Over the coming days, weeks and eventually years the pictures came and went. Eventually, the War on Terrorism became a surreal annoyance. We knew it was happening but really only paid attention when a friend or family member left or came back from overseas or when a young soldier made headlines.
Now, nearly ten years later the Mastermind behind this entire scheme is said to be dead. I always felt like it would never happen, not in my lifetime at least. Sure, looking back on it, that thought is ridiculously dumb considering Osama bin Laden's age, but I don't know, it was unexpected to say the least.
My initial reaction was sheer relief; a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I thought I wouldn't have to worry about anyone else getting hurt or dying overseas, but then I realized how flawed that was. As more and more videos came out last night of Americans celebrating the death of a man, I began to feel sick. An empty feeling came over me and I realized how wrong this was. He was a human being! Who are we to judge what he felt as he took his last breath?
Bin Laden was a political and religious leader to many. Whether we agree with them or not, many, many people looked up to this man the same way we look up to God's son, Jesus Christ. Sure, this is a crazy comparison to us, but to those who didn't know better and believed Osama was their savior, this comparison may not do them justice.
Jesus was crucified because he stood up for what He believed to be correct. It's different in this case because Osama took many lives and destroyed thousands of others, but if you look at the big picture, our Savior was killed because others didn't agree with him: we killed Osama because we don't agree with him. Don't pick at the flaws in that comparison, take it for what it is.
Either way you look at it, it is never okay to rejoice over the death of another person. Rejoice in our great military, in the fact that others won't be dying in Osama's name, and that perhaps some families can find a certain peace, closure even, in his death, but do not rejoice.
He may have been an awful man, but he was a man after all.
Lord, only You know what this man was feeling; only you know his thoughts and the reasoning behind his actions, his intentions. Tonight, dear Lord, I pray that this man's soul can realize his wrongs. I pray for those who have been suffering for years, for all those involved in 9/11 and for all the men and women who have fought or are currently fighting for this country. May those who need healing and peace find You and in turn find what they have been missing. Amen.