I am 100% in support of our troops and have complete respect for our intelligence personnel as well. What I’m conflicted about regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden yesterday and the subsequent announcement last night were the celebrations that occurred in Washington DC, at Ground Zero, and elsewhere. I think a retweet that ended up in my twitter feed summed it up fairly well: “Tonight is a night for sober and mature reflection, not glee. Mindless celebration is both spiritually inappropriate and politically naïve.”  (@marwilliamson)

I admit that the Team America: World Police song popped into my head last night – “America, f**k yeah!” – but I wasn’t ready to fly my American flag and chant “USA! USA!” with the others they were showing on TV. It was an important enough event that I made sure my oldest daughter was in front of the TV with us to hear Obama’s address, but as my husband and many others commented on last night: it’s morally hard to cheer for the death of someone else even if we know that person committed such atrocities against other human beings.

I’m grateful that Obama was able to come into office and focus on the mission that Bush seemed to lose sight of when he turned our military attention to Iraq as well as Afghanistan, but it’s still crazy to think that it took almost 10 years to bring bin Laden down. That means all the college students out celebrating in the streets were 10-12 years old when 9/11 happened and don’t really have the perspective that older folks have on it.

I am absolutely proud to be an American and to have such an amazing military to protect my freedoms, but I know that the celebrations are not the most appropriate way to mark such a serious event. I appreciate that Obama mentioned that we know bin Laden was not a Muslim leader since he killed just as many Muslims as not; I laughed when someone else mentioned that Obama’s speech was interrupting “Celebrity Apprentice”; and I grew quiet as I tried to figure out how I felt the event will shape America’s future. I thought to the fact that we’re supposed to be withdrawing our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and that bin Laden’s death will only help in the long-term stability of the region. I also know that bin Laden’s al Qaida and the Taliban had parted ways so it’s not really as simple as that, but it is a step in the right direction.

I respect the political maneuvering that Obama made last week by “finally” offering up his birth certificate and stating that it was time to move on to more important things – knowing all the while that the final stages of the bin Laden mission were in action. I think he proved that there were certainly more important items on the horizon than his long-form birth certificate.

I’m avoiding the news today so that I can filter out the truth from the opinions as time gives us a little perspective on the events of yesterday. I can only hope that this perspective will bring us together as a country. I know that yesterday’s events probably mean more to the military troops and families as well as anyone directly affected by 9/11 – either through proximity to the events or relation to those who were killed. But even for this 30-something West Coast girl, I can appreciate that bin Laden’s death means a great deal to many people. I just hope that we can be respectful of the rest of the world as we mark the end of that era.
 



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