Osama Bin Laden: Now What? Wait.
Yesterday’s announcement by President Obama about the death of Osama Bin Laden was historic indeed (see video below). It afforded a moment for our country to gain a sense of justice around a man who embodied and symbolized global terrorism for many years. My thoughts immediately went to the thousands of family members and friends who lost loved ones during the September 11th tragedy. Although this dead will not allow for complete closure for most, it does give many a sense of justice at some level.
It’s been surreal to see how Americans are celebrating the dead of Osama Bin Laden. Some of the images and reports reminisce the celebration of other countries who have experienced similar “victories” (i.e., removal of unwanted leaders or enemies). In a more sobering light, I was deeply moved this morning to hear about those around New York who began to gather around the location of the World Trade Center upon hearing the news to once again remember the lives lost.
News attention is now shifting towards things like: (1) how the CIA & the Navy Seals (Team 6) got intelligence and executed the plan, (2) what political ramifications will this have for Obama’s re-election, (3) what this means for national security in light of possible retaliation by the Taliban and other potential terrorist groups, and (4) how will other Middle Eastern nations respond to our military actions.
Before all of these other pieces of news consume and overshadow what just took place, I’m just reminding myself (and hopefully some of you reading this) to take a moment to pause, reflect, and consider those who were most impacted by the attacks of September 11th. May God grant them some sense of peace even though this news won’t bring any of their loved ones back.
In reflecting back on the life-changing events of September 11th, I was reminded this morning of the following:
- Life is fragile and unpredictable. Make sure you visibly express your love to those you care about.
- Our actions impact more lives than we will ever know. Whether for good or for evil, human action will always have a ripple effect on the lives of others. Consider what you do and how you live. We are impacting the lives of one another, whether or not we choose to ever recognize it.
- Learn to suffer with others. Compassion implies a notion of suffering with others in pain. It is only then that we will begin to seek and experience the creative desperation for meaningful and sustainable relief for those who experience injustice. Enter the stories of others and move from news to commitment.
As the days progress and the news coverage grows, may there continue to be a rooting that takes place in our hearts and minds of what really matters.