I’m so proud of the USA: I’m proud of the way our country stands up for ourselves and for others around the world. I’ve traveled all over the globe and know firsthand that there is no other country like ours. I’m grateful every day for the lives lost to ensure our freedom…for the horrible sacrifices so many families have paid to offer us the security we have. I’m glad that our ten year hunt finally came to an end…I didn’t like Osama any more than you do. I realize that he made his own choices. What I’m sad about is that he will never know Peace or Forgiveness. And for that reason I could never be happy that he’s dead…even if he killed my friend. Am I thankful that his “reign of terror” is over and that he can no longer take innocent lives (although I’m not naïve enough to think this whole mess is finished)? YES. Absolutely. I just wish somehow, in some way, he’d found the free gift of Grace that so many of us have experienced. None of us deserved it either.
Last night I posted a Facebook status “We got him, Al. It’s been ten long years but we got him.”
And I need to clarify. As the rest of the world cheered, I blindly stared at the TV and the panicky feeling of loss I was once too familiar with suddenly came back. Images from that day so long ago flew through my mind, coming to an abrupt halt when I felt a warm splash on my forearm. I stared at the drop and it took a few seconds to realize that it’s source was a stream of tears that I didn’t even feel flowing down my face.
Even at this news of American victory, I struggled to share the joy that the news anchors so obviously felt.This may not win me any friends but I could care less. Last night I cried for Al, but a tiny, conflicted part of me also cried for Osama. One was an amazing man who was viciously taken too soon but left a lasting mark on my life; the other was a sad story of a man who never knew Hope but left a lasting mark on the world. The chasm that separated one man from the other was etched only by the choices they made. And those very beliefs linked them together in a tragic way on 9/11.
Al, I miss you buddy. One day…