Sunday, May 01, 2011

"We got him" Osama bin Laden is dead.

The email I got from my son when Saddam Hussein was killed back in December 2003 said "We got him".  Ken had been in Iraq for 7 months by then.  I wish I could have received the same email this evening, referring to Osama bin Laden, but tonight I am missing my son who was killed in Iaq on May 30, 2004.

I am not joyful to hear of the death of Osama bin Laden, I am relieved.  Much as I was relieved when the administration of George W Bush ended in January 2009.  Okay, I guess I was a little joyful watching George & Laura boarded the helicopter at the White House that would take them back to Crawford, TX.

I can't help miss the contrast of announcements on May 1, 2003 when then President Bush announced "Mission Accomplished"  and eight years later on May 1, 2011 when President Barack Obama announced that "Osama bin Laden is Dead".  Was finding Osama bin Laden a priority of the Bush administration?

The attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001 was not just a loss for New Yorkers, it was a loss for our country and eventually, a loss for our way of life. Laws changed, our freedoms were restricted and terror became the word of the early 21st century.  My son was a senior in college that day back in 2001.  He called me that September morning and we watched TV together, he in Tennessee, me in California, as the 2nd tower was attacked.  The next day, Ken wrote this in his journal:

Terror came to this nation on the 11th. The question of how runs through the mind of many and shock set in as we watch with horror the events unfolding before us. Anger fills many hearts and minds. Once that anger is focused, God help us then. The nation wants blood, but do they understand that in spilling their blood, ours will flow too? When this war does start, I should be back on the front lines. I really hope that I will make the right choices and keep those people under me alive.
Ken was 24 at the time. How did he know he truth when so many others refused to go down that path?
No one under Ken's command died during his 384 days in Iraq.

More than $1 trillion has been spent, more than 6000 US military died, countless were wounded and that is just Americans. How do we count the deaths of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan? I hope that our country will learn the lesson that war isn't the answer when something goes wrong in the world.  Diplomacy and good intelligence are essential parts of any country's foreign policy.

Terrorism has not ended, of course,  but we can turn this page on Osama bin Laden.  His reign of terror is now over. 

As one of my friends said tonite- "Raise your glasses to those you fought for this moment for the last 10 years. Pour some for those who passed too."  Remember also those who were left behind to learn how to live without their loved ones.

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