Two cents on Osama's death

by phil on Friday May 13, 2011 6:47 PM

When people ask me what I think about Bin Laden getting whacked, I say two things and leave it at that. The first thing I say is simply that death is grim. I don't say that we shouldn't celebrate Bin Laden's death, but that it's simply a grim topic. While there's been a natural excitement in me to scarf down all the news articles and details about it, I don't feel the urge to run out in the streets with a flag. I can tell my body is enjoying the release of this man's soul, but I don't feel morally right celebrating it.

The second thing I mention is a scene I saw on television three days after the announcement. President Obama was giving an address at the Wounded Soldier's Ride, and in front of him were about thirty vets with missing legs or arms, on modified bikes ready to ride. As Obama spoke, they stood there motionless, and I felt an enormous sense of pride. For years they've seen this part of their body missing while the national sentiment has had somewhat of an ambivalent feeling toward the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now I'm not going to suggest that Osama's death alone justifies all the effort we put in, but I really enjoyed that moment, knowing that they could look at their wounds with unambiguous pride.

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