Osama Bin Laden is Dead

World Trade Center

The Twin Towers shot by me as a Child.

Roughly 10 Years ago I was driving  to work, the music was blasting, the sun was out and it was a clear beautiful day in Florida.  Suddenly I heard on the radio that what looked like a plane had crashed into the WTC. I immediately called my husband. It was still legal to drive and talk on your cell then. We were shocked. So far away from New York and we were shocked. We were scared. I walked into work and it was surreal, I remember the faces.  I heard cell phones ringing left and right as I walked through the office.  People called friends to tell them what they had heard. We all huddled into a conference room to watch it continue to happen. We pulled up the news on our laptops and watched in horror. We felt connected to the President because he was in Florida that day not far from where we were. Suddenly we worried, what if he was next, what about our friends in that area?

Even then the media had a huge impact on the way we viewed that day.  I cannot imagine what it would have been like if we had social media as we know it today. Just think of the heartbreaking tweets and the Facebook updates that would have come from the plane and  from the burning buildings. Desperate people trying to tell their loved ones where they were, or thought they were amidst a mountain of rubble. Maybe it would have saved more lives if people were socially connected. I for one feel somewhat grateful that we were not. It would have been too painful. The phone calls and voice-mails from that day are haunting enough.

Fast forward to 2011. I was checking my email and Tweetdeck popped up with this tweet. “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn. <== !” Hot Damn is right. I was ecstatic for a second.  I mean that man fully deserved to die, but I hadn’t thought about him for a while and I was grateful for that. I had these conflicted feelings. I don’t believe in killing, but I had this moment of feeling it was justified. Had becoming a mother changed me? I looked in on my sleeping children, too young to understand what had just happened and I suddenly started to feel fear. The same fear I felt immediately after 911. Are we more safe now or less safe with him dead? Is there going to be retaliation? Will it be worse this time?  I realized my fear was stronger not only because I am a mother of two, 10 years later, but because we now have social media. Just like we are all connected and organized, so are the extremist groups. The people that want to hurt us. Those that want to get back at us for Bin Laden’s death.  Those that view America as a bully, an evil super power. I can only hope we, as a nation, never have to experience the magnitude of the horror of that day ever again.

I sit here now waiting for the President of the United States to speak and I can only hope he says the right things.

Update: It was a brave,  calculated  and patient move by our President.  All qualities I hoped to see in our President when I voted for him.  I still feel uncertainty about what the future will hold, but feel fortunate to have a man in control of the decisions for our nation who does not rush to action on a whim.

 

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