Trent’s Commentary: My View on the Capture of Bin Laden

11 May

America and many of its supporters around the world burst into celebration when the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death hit the streets late that  Sunday night. The death of Osama Bin Laden is not only historic but is symbolic as well. I was born in 1993, and for my generation this is the first major American victory we have witnessed. For the first few years of our lives we lived in a world where the threat of terrorism didn’t dictate how we lived or where we traveled. Then everything changed that fateful September day when Al Qaeda hijackers murdered over three thousand innocent Americans.

At the time of the attacks I was in the third grade, and the entire event seemed surreal to me. That morning my brother and I were the only ones home. My father was at work and my mother was in the hospital recovering from a surgery she had the day before. I awoke to the sound of the television being turned on. The first image I saw was the cloud of smoke that had accumulated over the Pentagon. My initial thought was that a tornado was forming over Washington D.C. but my brother informed me that this wasn’t the case. I got dressed and left for school.

Upon arrival I could tell the atmosphere was different. The television and radio were on in almost every classroom and the conversations had deviated from the usual talk about upcoming school events to the horrific scenes unfolding before our eyes. I was at school for about an hour before my father came to pick my brother and I up. We then headed to the hospital to be together with my mother. I remember my parents talking when I heard the words that have stayed with me since that day. My father turned to my brother and told him, “Our world will never be the same.”

I tried to wrap my head around the events of that morning, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a rational explanation. Throughout the years that followed the answers became clear. As our world changed, so did our perspective on life. We had entered the age of fear. The ordinary routines and security procedures that we had come to know quickly became stories of how things used to be. Fear quickly engulfed society and the Department of Homeland Security devised a color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale. This system would alert Americans of possible threats posed by terrorists.

It soon became common to check the terrorist threat level before going on vacation or attending large events. My generation quickly adapted to the point where we didn’t even remember how life was before 9/11. Osama Bin Laden became the face of fear. We grew up listening to news stories, watching the Al Qaeda tapes, and seeing photos of the infamous Bin Laden. As time passed, many of us began to believe that Osama would never be found. His name faded from newspapers but in the back of our minds his image was as clear as day.

Every generation of Americans had their enemies and for us it was Bin Laden. Many of our views toward politics began to take shape, and in the 2008 presidential election we had a say in the way our country was run. Our country transitioned to a new president with the hope that the search for Bin Laden would continue. Then, the news we had all been waiting for. After years of searching and thousands of lives lost, America had finally found and killed Osama Bin Laden.

When Obama appeared late Sunday night to deliver the news, the youth took to the streets in celebration, and many including myself expressed a decades worth of emotions within 140 characters on Twitter. Although this is a monumental event in American history some have begun to question whether it is moral to celebrate the death of another human being. I believe it is appropriate to celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden because his ideals, his power, and his hate toward others united a group of dangerous individuals to commit unthinkable acts of violence.

He was the catalyst that caused a war in the Middle East. He may be one person, but without his leadership the dangerous terrorist cells are in essence without a leader, at least for the time being. They will not be able to operate efficiently and their influence throughout the world will diminish. The death of another human being is never good but when someone as dangerous as Osama Bin Laden has power over the actions of others, then his death is something to be happy about.


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