To say this has been an eventful week is probably the biggest understatement that I could make. The world watched as more and more was revealed about the operation that brought down the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. It was certainly exciting from a journalist's perspective. It was a "Stop the presses"?moment if ever there was one.
The most difficult part of the whole experience was explaining it to a child who was no more than a tiny baby when those planes crashed into the twin towers, the Pentagon and that field in Pennsylvania.
When I came home from work last Sunday night (actually, it was early Monday morning), Daniel woke up and asked why I was so late. I brushed the event off at the time and mumbled something about a big story from the other side of the world. I didn't want him to stay awake worrying or wondering about the raid.
Of course, the morning news programs were all over the story, so Daniel and I turned off the television and talked about the story. He knew who Osama bin?Laden was and that he was a very bad man. We talked about how the heroic United States military personnel found him and bin Laden was killed in the raid.
"Isn't it sad that somebody got killed? We're not supposed to hate people or kill people, are we? "he asked. I had a hard time explaining to him why everyone was celebrating this man's death.
I thought about my own feelings when I heard that bin Laden had been killed. I don't think I actually believed it at first. Then I wondered if someone was confused and that it was actually Gadhafi. But as the accounts continued to come in, it seemed there was no mistake. It wasn't too hard to recall that day when the planes crashed, and the horrific sight of innocent victims falling or jumping from the World Trade Center. Or remembering the people on the plane who tried to overpower the terrorists - the people who called their loved ones on cell phones to say their goodbyes. I remember being numb that day, overcome by the loss and devastation we faced as a nation. I also remember seeing footage of bin Laden's followers cheering and celebrating the deaths of thousands of people.
I have to admit, I feel a little uneasy celebrating a man's death, even a despicable one who showed no remorse or compassion for innocent lives. I wondered if our desire for justice had overcome my desire for peace and forgiveness.
Bin Laden was an example of what comes when anger and hatred of those who believe, worship or look different overcomes our humanity for each other. To the extent we accept each other and work towards understanding, we bury bin Laden's memory where it can be forgotten like all the other despots and monsters.