2 May 2011
This morning I woke to the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by US special forces in Pakistan. I believe that bin Laden reaped what he had sown. I will not mourn his death or worry overmuch about the means by which he was brought down. But on first blush I am, again, worried about the soul of America. The first hint I had of the event was the sound of cheering crowds I heard on the radio. I thought the wedding story was carrying on for far too long. Instead, when Mary showed me the front page of our local paper, with its image of the impromptu celebration in front of the White House, my heart skipped a beat. We are dancing on a grave. How proud can I be about that?
While I accept that the means used to bring bin Laden down were necessary, I also realize that they should be distasteful to a powerful democracy. This was a covert operation, a dark attack that ended in an assassination. We did what we had to do, we did what bin Laden made us do. We have become something we should be at least a bit wary of. To think that this closes the book on 9/11 is very shortsighted. Dancing, cheering, and celebrating this transformation hardly seems worthy of who we were before 9/11, but it may be a fair indication of who we have become since. That leaves me feeling all kinds of sadness for our country today.