I can honestly say, that the LAST person I expected to hear about Osama bin Laden’s death from, was the BRAVO Network’s Andy Cohen. It’s true, though.
Yesterday evening, the Yankee and I returned from my symphony concert. I was toasted from playing 3+ hours of Bach, and was looking forward to trashy TV. I’ve said it before – I’m not ashamed to admit I like “Housewives of _________________” and “Watch What Happens LIVE”. Escapist television at best, I’m able to disconnect from the REAL WORLD stuff with surprising ease.
Slipping off my concert attire, I froze mid boot removal when I heard Cohen turn to his guest – OC Housewife Alexis Bellino – and ask, “Now that Bin Laden is dead…..?”
I don’t remember the rest of the question, and certainly don’t remember her response. Instead – one boot in hand, the other still in place – I ran into the living room and told N the news. We just stared at each other. And then he turned on the computer and confirmed from his various news sites.
There wasn’t a lot of talking between the two of us – stunned silence. No celebrating, no cheering – we were both numb. Sort of like when a rug is pulled out from under you and WHAM! You’re on the floor with no idea of what or how it happened. One moment life is normal – and the next everything is seemingly different.
Yet it’s still the same. Because at the end of the day, this current War on Terror is NOT over. There are still very bad people in the world – whose ideology is bent on the destruction of our way of life.
War is horrible. Death is horrible. And my emotions on this one are mixed.
In one way, I feel as though I’ve lived a lot of life – especially in the last year with the Yank’s deployment to Afghanistan – seen and felt firsthand the effects of the War on Terror. Granted, I’m not in the military. I have never deployed to a war zone, and I will never understand what it’s like from the perspective of our service members who have.
However, I’ve stood by my husband during his three combat deployments and now while he’s gearing up for his fourth. It’s difficult at best, heart-wrenching at worst. And I’ve supported my fellow military spouse friends to the best of my ability… WE have supported each other, through some of the darkest moments imaginable – from reading horrific news of helicopter crash after helicopter crash last summer, through the playing of taps for two of our own squadron pilots, killed in action.
The news of Bin Laden’s death came as a shock.
And honestly – I don’t feel like celebrating. So much has already been lost –
I am grateful to our US Intelligence Services, the members of our Armed Forces, and especially the special operations forces, helicopter pilots and crew chiefs who flew into Pakistan on this mission. Without their bravery, skill, patience, and ability to execute a mission of this magnitude – we could be reading very different headlines today. A lot of people had to work together to make this possible – and to them I say, “Thank You.”
But I also realize the War on Terror is NOT over – far from it. It’s a continuing war that we are fighting, and one that (unfortunately) won’t soon end. And I hate to celebrate in the death of one individual, because it doesn’t change the horrors that have been committed, the Ultimate Sacrifices that so many people (and their families) have made. We cannot change what has already happened, and I’m fearful of more deaths, of more families listening to a lone trumpet play Taps. It makes me sad to think about the lives lost – from Beirut (and before), to the USS Cole, through September 11, 2001 – and into our present day. So much tragedy – so much sadness. (And that’s not including terrorism overseas, in Europe, Indonesia, and beyond).
So, while Bin Laden’s death brings a faint sigh of relief – it is by NO means, an end to the War on Terror.
Lastly, I would never judge or criticize the way people handle OR deal with the news of Bin Laden’s death. What works for one person, may not necessarily work for another – and vice verse. I don’t think I could have ever cheered the way that I saw some people, but I also appreciate that people ARE able to dance in the streets, cheer, and sing “The Star Spangled Banner” BECAUSE of our way of life, and the very same fundamentals and freedoms that our nation was founded on.