The repercussions of this news will ring throughout the world.
I said to my husband last, “This is so very odd to experience such relief and gratitude at someone’s death.” Such feelings are outside my experience. I was trained as an Oregon Safe Hunter when I was eleven. Hunting with my father at twelve, we both realized I would be a SAFE hunter, but not a successful one. When faced with living eyes in the scope of my rifle, I could not pull the trigger. My stint as a hunter was a short one.
So to celebrate the death of one, even one so bent as this man, was new in my make up. I understood the rejoicing, the satisfaction, the sense of justice. I understood that we were looking at a marking post in our war in terror, not a victory. I understood that someone, some where, must have loved this man and mourn his passing. When the light of breath extinguishes off the planet…repercussions are felt. I cannot know them all.
But I do know this: cultures can be assessed by the way they treat their children and their animals. Not considering the atrocities and crimes committed by this man, the accounts of his treatment of his children and his animals are shameful. Untenable. Not to be modeled or tolerated.
Yesterday Osama bin Laden was killed. And our President stood to his nation and delivered the news. In the delivery he thanked and honored the military persons in service to our country. I soldier that I am familiar with has adopted a renegade hedge hog – a small creature that he and his platoon now care for. Sir Paul McCartney has said, “You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
There are larger issues at play here. Global issues. To make sense of this matters of great consequence I must break it down into terms I can grasp. I have to reach for the things that have resonance with my own life experience. This man whose life was taken asked his own children to commit suicide. He brought harm to those closest to him. And that is the inner circle of harm that radiated outward, around the world.
Today I do not ring the bells. I do not stand among a crowd cheering. I reflect, quietly, on my own experience of the horrors that this one man wrought. And the gratitude I feel toward this marking post on our journey toward a different way of being in the global community. The repercussions of this news continue to ring throughout the events of my own day.