Shock, followed by a sleeplessness night, followed by time in front of the television once the kids were on the school bus, followed by surprised tears upon viewing a brief collection of footage from the last ten years. That is a general overview of the sequence of my reaction to the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. It is remarkable to see so many young people in the streets celebrating Bin Laden's meeting with justice. Partly because I'm now old enough to think of them as young people but mostly because so many of them were just kids on September 11, 2001.
The events of that day in New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville left a mark the scope of which we still don't fully comprehend. The rest of the world should remember that. Bin Laden's buddies who will use this as an excuse to remain on the war path (as if they ever had any intention of leaving it) need to remember that. Some are beginning to talk about the unintended consequences of killing Osama bin Laden. Ponder again the unintended consequences of attacking American freedom. This isn't bravado. Despite our political differences, disagreements, changes in administration, political upheaval American style, and ten years gone by, Osama bin Laden is dead.
The sea of American humanity celebrating the triumph of justice is a testament to our strength. We all young and old, immigrant and native born, flaming liberals and flaming conservatives, every single stripe, shade and hue that Americans come in, even those grousing about unseemly displays of joy over Bin Laden's death have a combined strength that even we sometimes forget or misunderestimate. Now gird your loins America remain vigilant and ready your best weapons as this fight continues.
Well done Mr. President. Well done Navy SEAL team 6.
Video of President Obama's speech announcing Bin Laden's death, text of the speech.
Statement by President George W. Bush