The first clue I got last night was seeing Facebook status updates that said things like – “Is it real?” “Finally!” “Go USA!” – and I knew I was missing a major news item. I don’t have a working TV, so I pulled up CNN.COM and saw the headline – OSAMA BIN LADEN KILLED. It seemed weird, like a spoof, or a joke. After all this time, I don’t know if anyone believed we were even trying to kill him anymore. That maybe eventually he would just die of old age or disease in hiding, and it wouldn’t be announced, and no one would ever know for sure, and he would remain this mythical character, alive or dead.

First – amazement. Second – a bit of heart shrinking over those who were making this a pro/anti-Obama thing. Bitter comments that this was somehow a marker of failure for Obama. We are so lost if even this can be twisted into a polarizing event about the President himself. My third feeling, or question really – is the blatant murder of a particular person on foreign soil by American operatives specifically endorsed by either our own law, or international law? I ask that question only because I just don’t know. And because I have to admit, my idea of what international relations should be would say no. That there are protocols and norms of due process that were skipped over in this situation.

I am not saying I have any criticisms for the President in making the order. But, I wonder a little. Between this, and his unilaterally calling our troops into the Libyan conflict recently. It just doesn’t seem like that’s how a US President should function. At least not in the ideal of how our democracy/republic should be.

But my last thought that I woke up with and that is engulfing me now as I sit at my desk is one of significant mourning. Because this just brings up all those emotions and feelings that overwhelmed in 2001. All I could think of as I walked to work was that feeling of shock, loss, fear, and tragedy that rushed in so quickly and took months to fade away into a dull ache, rather than a fresh wound. The death of bin Laden puts a marker into the timeline of that mourning and suddenly, it is fresh again. I did not even personally lose anyone in that tragedy – I can’t imagine how this feels for those who did. The vividness of this feeling is shocking – on this cool, sunny, cloudless spring day, I am reminded of how I felt as I began watching the cloudless, sunny, plane-free sky on that beautiful fall morning. And it hurts all over again.

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