i woke up this morning to a facebook newsfeed full of cyber cheers and announcements about the death of Osama Bin Laden. At first I thought, really? and then I thought, uh oh. And then I thought, wait, what? And then I turned on CNN for an update.
Apparently, my fellow countrymen are so overjoyed that Bin Laden has been killed, they are filing out into the streets to wave flags and chant, "USA!" As soon as I saw the video clip of Americans dancing and celebrating in the street, my mind shot right back to the video clips of the people who celebrated in the streets ten years ago after the terrorist attacks on our country. Has there been no change in hatred since then?
When I told Brandon that our military had killed Bin Laden, his wife, his son, and two messengers; his first response was, "we killed his kid?" Because my husband is a dad now and no matter how grown our son will ever be - we will always associate the word "son" with "kid." We kind of bumped around the kitchen this morning with the news on in the background until he had to go to work. We didn't clink our coffee cups together or do a little dance, we just felt confused and waited to learn more from the tv. I sighed in relief when I learned that his burial was done in Islamic tradition and that we had offered that small token of respect to world. People will say, 'but all of those he killed were not given the respect of a burial'; to which I hope they remember that a world in which we justify an eye for an eye is not one in which any of us will survive.
For the rest of the day, my facebook newsfeed continued to fill with people updating their status to things like, "God Bless America - the dirty bastard is killed!" and liking/joining groups like; "And that's how the USA outdoes the royal wedding"...none of which made me laugh or feel joyful. I just stared at my computer thinking; do we live in a world where we celebrate the killing of another? Do we live in the world where we pit us against them? We killed him. We made bigger news than them. My understanding was that an end to Bin Laden's regime meant good for the world...but it seems apparent that the sentiment is America 1, everyone else 0.
I'm not saying that I regret what our very brave and amazing soliders (truly I am thankful everyday for our men and women in uniform who do what they do so that I can go about and do whatever I want without a thought in my silly brain) had to do when faced with such an evil, manipulative, disgrace of a human. If we didn't kill him, he would continue to try to kill us; this I understand. But he was a human, and celebrating that fact that he was murdered; that any human is murdered; makes me sick to the stomach.
Perhaps I am buddhist, because when I read this blog post and this article, I breathed a sigh of relief that the feelings I have had all day are not solitaire.
So today, unlike many of my facebook friends and fellow Americans, I will not chant or cheer or celebrate the fact that Bin Laden has been killed. I will simply close my eyes and pray that all of the innocent who have been effected or killed by Bin Laden's hand or ideas will feel peace and justice by his death - whereever they may be.