As the news has come out about the death of Osama Bin Laden, I am equally fascinated and scared of the barrage of comments I have seen on facebook. facebook is where I first heard the news and it was blowing up as people rejoiced in this death, hailed the troops and alternately applauded or criticized President Obama.
My first reaction was interest and a thought of "Finally, they found him. He is dead. What will come of this?" But, I didn't have that rush of joy and celebration that so many seem to be having. Perhaps it is not part of my make up to celebrate death and murder. Any death or murder. We all see news stories and video clips of terrorists celebrating the deaths of American soldiers, celebrating when America has experienced great loss - for example the Katrina disaster. Video of them burning our flag and such hatred in the celebration.
Do we want to look like that?
I have seen comments of outrage that we treated his body according to Islamic Law. Cries of protest that we didn't drag his body through the streets as a show our victory. This is the exact way terrorists have treated the bodies of our soldiers, of UN workers, of reporters.
Do we want to act like that?
By honoring Islamic Law, I think we took the high road. And, lest you think me naive, I'm sure it was also a political decision to ward off the predicted threats of retaliation to come from killing Bin Laden. These events are sure to happen and if we stave off the intensity or amount by treating his body with respect, I can live with that.
Closure is a concept that I don't believe in. I don't think that a traumatic event in a persons life can just magically be "closed", put to rest, or wholly make sense as a result of another action. As we grow and learn and change, these events mean different things to us. As we go through the grieving process and acceptance, these events effect us in different ways. Closure just doesn't happen.
I speak from experience. A dear friend of mine was murdered several years ago. I have gone from shock to anger to grief to just plain missing my friend everyday. If they find the murderer will I feel differently - I don't think so. I wouldn't be consumed by a sense of peace. My friend is still gone. Would I feel like some justice has been served? Yes - I think I would.
I hope the families effected by the tragedy on September 11th find peace throughout their whole lives. Perhaps this event helps them. I don't begrudge them that.
A post I saw on facebook reminded people that this event means different things to different people and that we need to respect each persons response. I can get with that. Why? Because we live in a country where we can all have our emotions, opinions and thoughts. Without the fear of punishment. That is America. That is freedom.