02 May 2011
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
-Martin Luther King, Jr
It's kind of odd to me that today as I read through various people's status updates or read the news online there seems to be this sort of happiness that justice has been served knowing that Osama is dead. I don't really feel like his death is justice but hopefully it does bring light again to the issue of terrorism. As easy as it is to rejoice in an enemy's demise, MLK Jr is correct in stating that hate multiplies hate. Let's hope that his death isn't celebrated as the loss of one man but the loss of his hatred.
The horror that OBL instigated against the United States and the world for that matter will never be exonerated just by his own death. That one action will never be able to replace the sorrow, the fear, the pain that he caused. So rather rejoice and give credence to his death, we need to continue to mourn the lives of those who died on September 11th and those subsequently who lost their lives on the battleground defending our freedom. At the same moment, in mourning we need to not only honour those lives lost but celebrate our own lives and to try to figure out how we can each make the world a better place.
Maybe it's simplistic or naive but I should hope that our focus today isn't on the death of our enemy but to take another moment to reflect and to remember. As with most horrific days in history, I don't think anyone will forget where they were that morning of September 11th. I remember pretty much every detail of that day vividly. I remember the girl coming into the hotel and saying that a plane just flew over her head. Calling my mom to tell her that we were ok and her telling me that the news was reporting our location as one of the next potential targets. Hearing the emergency alarms sound and rushing out the door to dust and smoke only to be told we had to stay inside until the evacuation route was cleared. The ceiling of the ballroom we were waiting in crumbling when the ground shook as the towers fell. Walking to give blood and being turned away because there wasn't anyone to give blood to. Sitting in a restaurant that night where no staff were really working - everyone was just helping themselves and someone was cooking.... there were military everywhere and the streets of NYC were just quiet except for the incessant sound of sirens. I will never get out of my head the faces of those family members walking around aimlessly looking for their loved ones, handing you their picture with blank eyes just hoping you would say yes that you had seen them...
Let us take this moment to remember. God give us the strength to always move forward after such tragedies and give us the strength to be the change we want to see in the world. And let us never forget.