Monday, May 02, 2011

Not time for celebration

Amazing Grace -250/365

Where were you when you heard planes had crashed into the World Trade Center -- or the Pentagon ... or that that one had crashed in a Pennsylvania field on its way to a Washington landmark, possibly the White House -- on Sept. 11, 2001?

We know where we were and remember every detail of that day and the days that followed because it was more than somber, it was sobering. It changed everything.

Today, nearly 10 years later, we mark a new memory in our minds' indelible ink - the killing of the man largely blamed responsible for the terrorist events that killed nearly 3,000 people on US soil.

When I heard the news last night I was watching the end of an episode of "Treme," an HBO series depicting New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As I watch TV these days I find myself a slave to my smartphone: obsessively turning it on and off to allow the programs for email and text messages to update. (It is a demon I'd like to cast out.)

My children, just barely ideas before the the first anniversary was over, were now asleep upstairs.

At 10:43 p.m. the New York Times email alert said "Osama bin Laden is Dead."

For a moment I wondered if his previously reported health problems had caught up with him. But opening the email I saw the word "killed" and realized it was not incidental.

I didn't feel anything. Definitely not the celebratory vibe that took hold overnight and lasted well into the morning. I don't even feel a sense of relief.

It's not over. We haven't closed the book on terror, or even finished the chapter. We've just torn out one sheet of paper as the wind fans its other pages.

But it's not fear I'm feeling, either. It's just tired of moving in circles, refusing to even see our own mistakes.

There seems something inherently wrong about celebrating a murder, regardless of how reviled the character.

Today is not a day for jubilation. The day we all stand together without this hatred for each other, that will be the day to celebrate.


Carl said...

Between the birth certificate, the royal wedding and now this, I've had to just shut my mind to posts and comments over the past few days because they have filled me with frustration over the horrible things that can come out of people's minds and mouths.

Except yours. Very well said.

Kristen said...

I totally agree with you. I have been having a hard time with all this celebrating today. It's just not right.