Monday, May 02, 2011

May Day: OBL Gone

We were out last night at Ten Tables in Provincetown and saw the news that Obama would be making a speech at 10:30 so went back to our B&B, Carpe Diem, to read the news, the blogs, the Twitter coverage and watch TV.

So the speech was short and to the point -- Osama bin Laden was dead. America had finally taken him out -- and where was he -- in Pakistan, near their "West Point" in a gorgeous mansion. No big surprise to me. He was from an elite family and the fantasy of him living in a cold, dirty cave was just that -- a fantasy.

The nation went wild with the news, but it isn't a Super Bowl win or some such. Partying because someone has been killed is a little unseemly to me, and moreover, there was no way last night to avoid reliving where you were and what happened to you on 9/11. I didn't experience tragedies, no friends or family died, but we all know it was a harrowing time for everyone. Being in Boston, we all felt sorry the terrorists had slipped through our airport to do so much damage. If we Bostonians had only stopped them!

It's a sunny, cloudless beautiful May day and also reminiscent of the weather on September 11th. I'm glad this day will be free from the heavy threat we all felt that day. My son was in first grade, and I was lucky to actually be at his school that day, planning a Nature Walk for his class. Parents were coming to the school all day. Questions about whether to tell them and how much to tell them were the biggest concern.

All that fall we kept him away from the TV, away from the pictures, away from the radio, but things slip into your consciousness. In the winter, I saw him stretched out on the floor, drawing pictures of skyscrapers with airplanes smashed into the top floors.

We listened to NPR a lot on headphones that fall to listen to the news of terrorism, anthrax, other crazy reports, while my son watched Rugrats. Seeing any Rugrats characters still makes me think of 9/11 to this day.

So this ten-year time of terrorism feels it has come to some sense of closure. There are still real risks out there every day, they don't go away with bin Laden's end. This is a good day to reflect on the good things this ten years has brought and look forward to the future.