Osama bin Laden has been killed. Wow. I can't say I ever thought this day would come.
Whether this is the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning, it can't be denied that this is a huge day in the United States' military campaign against al Qaeda.
As a New Yorker and someone who had a friend die when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed, I have always been angry for the losses we suffered on Sep. 11, 2001. For whatever reason, though, I never felt a burning desire for revenge. Justice perhaps, but not revenge. So, while I don't feel the kind of jubilation the crowd outside the White House is exhibiting tonight, I do feel a sense of satisfaction that justice has been served.
I was living on Long Island (NY) in Sep. 2001, preparing to move my family to Colorado. Like so many people, I watched in disbelief as the World Trade Center buildings burned then collapsed on live television. I remembered the awe I felt as a kid the day my parents drove my brothers and I from our house on Long Island into Manhattan so we could witness those two titanic buildings being erected in southern Manhattan. To see them toppled to dust just broke my heart. It was as inconceivable an event as any I could have imagined. I'll never forget looking back on New York City, as my family and I came out of the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel en route to Colorado, to see smoke still rising from the now-alien skyline of lower Manhattan, where the two iconic towers should have been standing. Just a horribly, horribly sad sight.
I'm still processing the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. After 10 years, I had resigned myself to believing he would remain a figure in the shadows. It is a just amazing to me that not only has bin Laden been killed, but killed in a U.S. military operation...not a joint mission with the Pakistanis or coalition-led mission, but a singular U.S mission. Amazing.
It's impossible to know what this means for the overall security picture of the United States. I'm sure the folks at CNN will be discussing that for days to come. For now, though, the death of bin Laden does strengthen in me the belief that there is balance in the world- that, sooner or later, we all get what's coming to us - the good and (thankfully) the bad.