Even as Neel and I took turns dozing on the sofa last night while we waited for President Obama to come and confirm what we already knew, I was thinking, "Should I turn on the computer and take down Monday's blog post? Is a post about rum drinks too frivilous on such a momentous day?" I decided to keep the post up (it was nearly midnight after all), and besides, it gave me plenty of time to think about what I want to say.
I don't know what I want to say.
There isn't a good word. Happy? Not exactly. But sort of. Relieved? Well yes, but I also worry about retaliation. Grateful? Closer, but grateful for what exactly? I've been chewing on it all day, and I still don't know exactly how to frame what I want to say.
Here's the thing. I don't believe that killing is the answer. I can't celebrate a death; I can't hoot-holler from the rooftops. I think that volence and death only begets more violence and death. But here's the other thing. That man? All he was about was violence and death. I think I surprised Neel a little when I said, "Yes." as President Obama first spoke those words, "...the United States has conducted an operation that has killed Osama bin Laden." I surprised myself. It's not what I'm about. I didn't think I was quite that black and white. But, as I said to Neel, what would we have done with him? Where would we have put him? What would a "trial" have done to us? No, it's better this way. How much worse for the world to have watched Hitler go to trial?
I don't believe in killing. Violence and death only begets more violence and death. Callum, who wrote that note on our chalkboard before leaving the house this morning, told me how they handled it at school today. His teacher had the kids get out their composition books and she had them write down the date they were born. Then today's date. Underneath they wrote, "Today I learned that Osama bin Laden was killed. I was 2 years old on September 11, 2001." They went on to describe how they found out. Callum then told me that she said to the kids (oh, how I wish 5th grade would last forever!), "I know that in the Christian faith you're not supposed to rejoice in a death, but I'm rejoicing in this one."
That's right where I am too, this tiny space of conflict. I don't believe in killing, but oh, how can I not rejoice that that particular piece of evil is gone from our earth.
As always, I'm proud to be an American.