A victory for all of us
Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 8, 2011
We got him!
It wasn’t “the president got him” or “the Navy SEALs got him.” No, it was “we.” We got Osama bin Laden — nine years, seven months and a few days after he designed the most brazen attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.
As the word filtered in that bin Laden, Public Enemy No. 1, had been killed in a daring assault in Pakistan, emotional outbursts broke out in New York and Washington, D.C. A baseball game in Philadelphia nearly came to a stop as fans began chanting “USA, USA.”
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The country became galvanized much the same as we did in the days following the attacks bin Laden orchestrated. Americans wrapped themselves under an American flag blanket. A sense of unity, of country, for a while showed that it’s possible to take down our buildings, but not to dampen our spirit or resolve.
Catching bin Laden, though, always seemed to elude American forces. He appeared to be cornered in mountainous regions of Afghanistan not long after 9/11. He escaped into the wilderness — or so it appeared. As the days turned to weeks and months, the realization that we might never get the world’s most wanted man began to set in.
It’s a credit to our military and intelligence for not ever giving up, even when it appeared there would be no happy conclusion. It’s a credit to President Barack Obama, far from a presidential hawk, for making the call. It’s a credit to those who fell on 9/11 and their families who continued the fight. It’s a credit to America.
In the coming weeks, debt limits and unemployment again will rule the political conversation. Grandstanding politicians soon will be back in the game of finger-pointing and blame-game politics. We again will be told of all the things that divide rather than conjoin.
For one Sunday evening, though, we all draped ourselves in the American flag.
We got him.