Here's my truth. I am proud to be an American citizen. I am proud of our President this morning. I am happy that my daughter will grow up in a world that is less one madman. I am happy that none of our NAVY Seals were killed in the fight. I am happy that the families of those people that died on 9/11 feel that justice has been served and that they have a hint of closure on a senseless and horrible act of hate. And, I am happy that President Obama made the decision to bury Bin Ladin swiftly and quietly at sea, to avoid the kind of perverse shrine that may have come from providing a grave site, and to prevent a mass of media out in boats watching and broadcasting the whole thing.
Something feels painful about it all. The celebration of death. The bloodstained carpet they keep showing on the news. Young children chanting in celebration in our city streets, riled and high on the rush of something of this magnitude happening in their lifetime. Some of the kids I saw aren't old enough to have been born, let alone remember September 11th. Something about this whole thing puts a heavy weight in my heart.
Don't misunderstand me. I don't feel sympathy or understanding or empathy for that madman. I am truly glad that he no longer exists in this world, because I believe he would have attacked us again given the opportunity. But, I feel uncomfortable for some reason. Uneasy. Those men that risked their lives yesterday in order to remove such a profound threat are my heros, but I still feel fear in my heart that their job isn't over yet. Thank you to them. To our Armed Forces. Every single soul that strives every day to protect my family and our country is a hero in my eyes.
My family is knee deep in NAVY men, and my own brother is out there right now, away from his family, working to defend all of us. His best friend served in the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan and he is a changed man for it. I know in my heart that they and every other military man and woman are happy and filled with relief today, but the trade-off is sobering. This fight is changing us all. Taking men and women from their families, sometimes forever. Wounding them in body and mind and spirit. Keeping the threat of destruction and terrorism in our minds all the time. I pray that in my daughter's lifetime, that will change, but I don't know if that is possible. Can we ever really go back, or move forward, to a time when we don't live with that fear in our hearts?
My world after 9/11 is still unsettled. I fly cross-country several times a year. On non-stop flights to California out of Boston Logan International. Every time I board those flights I feel fear. And now that I have a baby girl in my arms on those flights, that fear is magnified. It could easily have been me on one of those planes on that terrible day, and that thought is never far from my mind when I travel. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of 9/11 today. To those of you who have fought, who are still fighting, who have loved and lost, who have survived, and who have sacrificed. Thank you.