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Some Thoughts: On Bin Laden's Death

posted May 10, 2011, 6:56 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 22, 2011, 10:58 AM by Golden Knight ]
Posted in World

By Chris Ferro

“Did you hear?”

“Where were you when you found out?”

“Can you believe it?”

In the wake of any historical paradigm, these three questions connect one person to another. Such ubiquitous news necessitates the sharing of opinions, information, and ideas about the matter. To older generations, the question most commonly asked was, “Where were you when you heard about Kennedy or MLK?” More recently, the question has followed this template: “Where were you on September 11th? What were you doing?”

Of course, people would answer in a heartbeat, “I was at home with the kids.” “I was at work.” “I was ten thousand feet in the air.” And with every answer, a new human connection was formed, a unification of conscience, an amalgamation of experience. For one day, people knew no distinctions, no race, no gender, and no prejudice. Each recollection permeated through the other and weaved together to create a real, intricate story-web. Distinction lay shattered on the ground and relation rose out of its pieces. One phoenix resembled the centralized human spirit flying high into the horizon of unity.

This represents the power of a single, momentous event and how something catastrophic or liberating can deeply alter the mindset of a group of people for a period of time. The death of Osama Bin Laden encapsulates this sentiment. Within a matter of minutes, every man, woman, and child in America had heard about the operation and subsequent death of Bin Laden. Local news headlines changed from “Local Liquor Store Robbed” to “Bin Laden Killed.” Every media outlet around the world focused their efforts on the “climax of the past ten years.” The Middle East, having already received its fair share of media coverage, became the beacon of light attracting inquisitive eyes everywhere. The man many deemed responsible for the attacks of September 11th, 2001 had finally been vanquished. Public enemy number one: murdered in a fire fight.

The overwhelming sense of American pride which followed the news spread like a virus. People in Washington D.C. and New York City gathered to celebrate what they, and everyone else, had heard. A baseball game between the Mets and Phillies froze. The game was in the ninth inning, one out and one strike on the current batter. 9-1-1.

Surely, 9-1-1 was on the mind of Americans the night of May 1st.  It was certainly on the minds of the families of the victims who died on that fateful day. Not a single soul in America could ignore the magnitude of Bin Laden’s death, not because of him, but because of what he stood for. Leaders can be replaced, but symbols cannot. If what radicals in the Middle East say is true, that a thousand Bin Ladens will rise out of his ashes, then they must possess courage unmatched in any region of the world. Al Qaeda may live, but its figurehead has died. Those willing to replace Bin Laden have to consider the consequences in doing so. Terrorists, you have been warned. There will not be another Osama Bin Laden, and anyone brave enough to proclaim it may suffer the same fate as his predecessor: a gunshot to the head, a bullet in the heart, and a grave at the bottom of the ocean. Terrorists, be my guest.