Sunday, May 1, 2011

My Bin Laden Takeaways

Osama Bin Laden has been killed by US forces in Pakistan.


President Obama speech about US killing Osama Bin Laden
 I have two takeaways after this surely historical event.

My first takeaway is the emotional mixture I am feeling right now. As I type this, I am watching crowds celebrating and cheering as if someone has just won the Stanley Cup. Am I happy that the man responsible for the atrocious acts on September 11th, 2001 is no longer able to hurt? Yes, of course I am. Am I happy that a man has died? No, I am not. This is where I am struggling to grasp the emotion of this event. It is a good feeling that Bin Laden has finally been taken out of the terrorist equation, but what is an appropriate reaction? I am happy that his reign of terror is over. I am sad we are celebrating the death of a man. I am confused that I am not celebrating. I am anxious about what will come next.

The other takeaway is the amazing feeling of connection I experienced while first learning this news on twitter. Well before President Obama took the stage, I was engaging in conversations and hearing reactions from around the globe. While I was sitting alone at my computer, I was far from alone. Truly amazing is how the news broke via social media and how the commentary ensued. The commentary I was reading was unfiltered by any news outlet or presidential speech writer. It was raw emotions from real people and it was as authentic as it gets.

As I sit here too anxious and fired up to sleep, I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Will this make a difference? Will there be retaliation? Will this bring Americans together and stop fighting pettiness amongst ourselves? What will I tell my students? What will I tell my kids?
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