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Wednesday, May 04, 2011Ding Dong Bin Laden’s Dead
Naturally when I heard memories of 9-11 came rushing back to me. As soon as the death of Bin Laden was announced my phone began to vibrate with text messages from friends all over the world. Ding Dong Bin Laden’s Dead! , the majority of them said.
No matter what part of the globe the messages hailed from them all expressed their happiness over his death. I always knew the day would come when Bin Laden would be captured and I was pretty certain he’d be killed, men like him strive to be martyrs. I never doubted that he'd be captured. I'd always thought I’d be over the moon about his death. I was not over the moon; I was not jumping for joy like some of my friends were.
I ignored my phone and looked out my window my eyes drifting towards the spot where the twin towers once stood. It has taken me years to be able to look at that empty spot in the skyline and not flinch. There was even a year or two when I could not bear to look at the skyline at all. As a kid the towers were my landmark, they represented "home". I'd return from my family travels and my eyes would automatically gaze the skyline looking for the towers and smile in appreciation of being back home. My friends could not understand why I felt no satisfaction in Bin Laden’s death. I tried to explain that his death would never return our lost innocence. We’ll still get groped and prodded in the name of security at the airport. My Arab relatives will still get looked at twice on airplanes and trains. His death will not bring back the relatives I lost in the towers nor the other 3000 plus that perished with them. They felt that because of that and more I should be singing a chorus of Ding Dong Bin Laden’s Dead. I couldn't sing instead I was disappointed. I wanted us as humans to be better...to take the higher road and not celebrate the death of an enemy as if we were celebrating mardi gras.
Perhaps for some his death will bring closure I know it won’t for me because his death can never give me back all that was lost on 9 -11. Yes, he was an evil man and I am fully aware of how his hate changed our city, our lives and our world. However, I don’t have the room in my heart to store the amount of hate it would take to rejoice in a fellow human’s death I’m only 4ft 11 and I pray to the head cheese that I never do have the room for that hatred. Rather than join the celebration I stared at stars in the sky and prayed. I prayed that the world will never know another Bin Laden and I prayed that the world will realize one day the truth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words…
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
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