Osama bin Laden is Dead.

I was going to write a piece about Script Frenzy.

I had planned to sit down this morning and really go through everything that had happened while I was learning how to write a stage play over the last month.
It’s amazing how so few words can change your world and change your direction.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

There are conspiracy theorists who will say that he lives on, that the burial at sea wasn’t good enough for them. To them, I have to say: The CIA has photos. The president has seen the photos. I may not agree with President Obama’s politics, and I do believe he is the kind of man that would lie about something like this to make himself look good, but I do not believe that he is lying. There’s also the little matter of the CIA having a confirmed DNA match to bin Laden’s sister.

So there it is.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

It has been almost ten years since I first heard the man’s name spoken. I had no clue who he was until September 11, 2001. His name came up in a discussion on the events of the day on the news. I had never heard of Al Qaeda before then. I was mystified as to how these people who lived half way around the world, could change my life, could invade my country and murder so many innocents.

I still remember watching people jump out of the World Trade Center on national news. The footage was so brief, CNN only showed it once by accident and I happened to be looking at the television at the exact moment that a man or woman jumped out of a 50th floor window. That is how desperate things were that day.

I remember sitting with my best friend in my living room, watching her cry. I remember her looking away from the television and begging me to turn it off because she couldn’t watch it anymore. I had been so stunned by the images on the TV, that the horror of it all did not sink in until the next day. I remember being afraid for weeks afterwards and not sleeping a few nights later, because there was a rare thunderstorm and I thought that someone was bombing the nearby Air Force Base. I remember sitting on a park bench with a friend as our children played on the swings and both of us stopping cold as a siren went off nearby. It turned out to be from a fire truck, but at the time, we thought we were going to have to find a bomb shelter.

We all made plans for how we would live if it came down to war and our men had to leave us. We all made plans for how the children would be cared for and how we would step in for each other. Those of us that could, donated blood. Those of us that could not, prayed for our nation, for our children and for ourselves.

I had never lived in such fear.

I have carried that fear with me ever since.

In spite of my fear, I believed in our men and women in uniform. I believed that our government would never, ever, let such an atrocity stand. Politics aside, the one thing that encouraged me about Barack Obama as president was that I felt the man would not forget about September 11th. How could anyone who was alive that day, ever forget?

I know that I never will.

Now, our children are nearly grown, but they can step into the wide, wide world and take their first steps on the path to adulthood knowing that the man who killed all of those people, the man responsible for the worst attack on American soil in the history of our nation, is dead.

If I weren’t crying so hard with relief right now, I’d be dancing in the street just like the Palestinians did on September 11th.

Now it’s our turn to dance. Our turn to celebrate victory. I will not lie to you and tell you that I grieve for this man, nor do I mourn his loss. I mourn what he took from me, the sense of safety and security that no one had ever launched an attack against us at home. I mourn the peaceful life that I lived without anger directed at a human being that I had never even met. I mourn for the person that I was before September 11th, because that girl died that day.

I was much more of a free spirit. I was much more accepting of others and believed, without a shred of doubt, in the innate kindness of human beings. When those planes flew into the twin towers, those beliefs failed to help me sleep at night. The only comfort that I had, was that our government would hunt that son of a bitch down and ruin every single thing that he ever loved.

The second part was, perhaps a bit idealistic on my part, but the first part, I never doubted. I knew that our government would never stop pursuing him.

Today, as I sit here crying, now in grief at the memory of all who died on September 11th and more than a little bit for the young woman that I was before that day, and can never be again, I know that our government did not fail me in this one thing and that every single American who remembers that day stands with me in solidarity. We are in tears for what we have lost but we have no remorse or regret for the lengths we have had to go to, in order to make it right.

God does bless America, from time to time.