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My Take: Why partying over bin Laden's death made me cringe
People celebrate the announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden at the White House.
May 3rd, 2011
06:16 PM ET

My Take: Why partying over bin Laden's death made me cringe

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Today in my “Death and Immortality” course at Boston University we were supposed to be discussing suicide and euthanasia. Instead we spoke of the death of Osama Bin Laden, the celebrations that followed in its wake and the Facebook war that broke out later concerning the propriety of “celebrating death.”

Many of my students partied in the streets and on nearby Boston Common after President Barack Obama announced to the world that bin Laden was dead. Others found those celebrations not only inappropriate but morbid - fit for Mardi Gras, perhaps, but not for the demise of a fellow human being, however odious.

When I polled the class, my students were split almost precisely down the middle on this question. Some felt “uneasy” and “uncomfortable” with the parties (which one student insisted were actually patriotic "rallies"). Others thought what was being celebrated was not death but justice; finally, America had a victory in the war on terror: “Mission Accomplished.”

When I turned on the television on Sunday night and saw the impromptu partying, I cringed. I wasn’t sure why, but I didn’t like the optics.

A student today helped to clarify my reaction. It looked to her - and to me - like images we had seen before: people celebrating in the streets in the Muslim world after the 9/11 attacks. Have we become, she and I thought, like them?

Another student said that all the liberal hand-wringing about the propriety of the parties (including my own) was rooted in an inability to face up to our shared humanity. It is human to get angry. It is human to want revenge. It is human to hate your enemies, and to throw your hands in the air in exultation after they are killed.

Still, I couldn’t help noticing that the contingent in favor of the partying seemed farther removed from the events of 9/11. Students from New York City who had lost friends or family members on 9/11 - including one who said she went to 15 funerals in the days after the attacks - were in general more somber and reflective. Instead of celebrating bin Laden’s demise, it seemed, they were reliving the horrors of that day.

I didn’t lose any close friends on 9/11. But I thought that the visuals of drunken Americans chanting mindless (and often vulgar) slogans were not in American national security interests. There are lots of people around the world who hate America, and this was doing nothing to make us any more likeable.

But the key reasons for my disquiet were more psychological than strategic. I just don’t feel comfortable celebrating anyone’s death.

I think it comes down to an awareness of our shared mortality; the death of another human being reminds me of my own. And that is not a cause for celebration.

But the main reason I felt uncomfortable watching the bacchanalia in front of the White House and on Boston Common is because when it comes to death –anyone’s death - I feel I am in the presence of a great mystery, perhaps the great mystery of human life. And at least for me the appropriate response to that mystery is awe.

One of my students (she was in the anti-partying contingent) said that moments like this should lead us first and foremost into reflection. That is precisely what my students did for me today.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Death • Islam • Opinion • Osama bin Laden

soundoff (1,428 Responses)
  1. Catandog

    "I think it comes down to an awareness of our shared mortality; the death of another human being reminds me of my own. And that is not a cause for celebration."

    Set aside your narcissism and you'll realize that this guy not only deserved to die–his death is a cause for celebration.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, so your equating yourself with a monster?

      Get a grip and stop being ignorant.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
  2. duckdogsedona

    Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it best....

    Canada receives the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden with sober satisfaction.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • salvatore

      Canada always has been a bit holier-than-thou.

      May 4, 2011 at 3:52 am |
    • HeavenSent

      That's because Canada has already been beaten down by the evil that sit's behind the thrown.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  3. Online4aBit

    Thank you Stephen – Appreciated this article. This was the very same conversation my father and I had yesterday while working on my fence in Anywhereville Upstate NY.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Oh, yes. Listen to a mortal knowing nothing so they can confuse your emotions and, hence, thought process.

      Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

      Isaiah 5:20

      May 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • QS

      Well then, guess we won't be listening to Heaven Sent then either will we? While we're at it, since we're all mortals and apparently know nothing, we'll all just stop listening to each other altogether and by doing so will create god's perfect world!

      May 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  4. Scott

    I would not hesitate to shoot bin Laden dead to save future victims from his terrorism. Afterward, I would ask God to have mercy upon his soul, because I believe in what Jesus said. I believe that we must love our enemies(by casting out hate and anger)and to forgive those who trespass against us. While I do believe in Jesus, I don't believe in Hell as a place, only as a mindset for those who do not understand what they do until after they die. Like every villain before, Osama suffers from the harshest pain, greater then any lake of fire, that being the pain of remorse.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Scott, that's too bad that you do not believe Jesus' truth. Bin Laden is finding out who now to fear.

      And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

      Matthew 10:28

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  5. Nunya

    I am glad that Osama bin Laden is dead. I would say that I am ashamed of my fellow Americans exuberant shouts of joy over it except they don't represent my actions in any way. Rather than ashamed, I am disgusted at the reprobate behavior.

    How many of the people out in the streets shouting and celebrating were wearing WWJD items? I can guarantee you that he would not be exulting over the death of a human being, however evil.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Nunya. I'm amazed how you young folks don't get anything about what just happened. You're so busy putting yourself in another shoes. Try this on for size. Have no emotions, good or bad. Everything is the same, minute by minute, day by day, year by year. Every time you open your mouth, a lie comes out. You are puffed up thinking yourself better than the average person in life. You kill or you allow someone to live. You plan thousands of innocent deaths. You care less they were taken away from family and friends. Actually, your life is a big void and the only way to fill that void is to ensure you wreak havoc any where, any time, with any one. That's the basis of a psychopath. Stop putting yourself in their shoes. They are a plague on society all through history. Actually, look the definition up on the net. I'm sure you'll be horrified to read about these monsters.

      As for me. I am more than grateful for the sacrifices our military men/women make every minute of every day for our freedom.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Nunya

      I guess you only read part of what I said. I started out stating that I was glad he was dead. He did bad things. He was planning to do bad things. The world is better off without someone that does such things.

      The shoes I'm putting myself in aren't his. I'm referring to how God/Jesus would react to the death of one of His children. Even though he might approve and even prescribe that someone like thta should be put to death, it still fills him with sadness that one of his children comes to such an end – there is no rejoicing.

      And as far as 'you young folks', nice try painting me with the inexperience brush, but I'm well above median age for the U.S...

      May 5, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  6. Liz

    My thoughts almost exactly! I love this article...but I think maybe some of the readers missed the point.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Johnny

      Liz, you pretty much summed up what I was going to say.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  7. Mark C

    Bin Laden's death will save countless innocent lives. You're an idiot.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  8. John Richardson

    The more I read Prothero, the more amazed I am that he makes a living lecturing and writing. Any number of posters made this point much more efficiently and therefore effectively than this driveler in comments to a prior post on this subject. And like them, he is seriously misguided in that he is creating a moral equivalence that is not just false but grotesque. While I myself felt a twinge of queasiness at some of the jubilation on exhibit, you've pretty much excused yourself from the ranks of serious moral thinkers if you suggest that cheering the deaths by surprise attack of 3000 civilians (actually, it was suspected that there would prove to have been many more deaths at the time of the celebrations) is essentially the same as cheering the death of the mastermind of that attack and a few close associates.

    Actually, there's quite a bit more that could be written about both acts of jubilation. But here and now is not the time. But one thing I fear is lurking behind a lot of the hand wringing is fear itself, ie the fear that someone will get offended and come to do more harm. I suggest we all take a holiday from such hand wringing. I'm sure there are people plotting revenge as we speak, but I'm also sure that 99.99% of them would have been plotting once Bin Laden died the way he did regardless of any jubilant demonstrations. I'm also convinced that 99.999999% of us will never be harmed by any of the plotters and have more to fear from our own government's paranoid reactions than we do from the new terrorist wannabes.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Celebrating the demise of these monsters sends a clear message to all their psychopathic followers in the future. They too, will be in the abyss. On earth, as it is in Heaven.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  9. NHNOW

    I agree with the writer of this post, there is a feeling deep inside that prevents me from shouting and celebrating in the streets over the death of another person, although i felt a deep satisfaction of "mission accomplished" just as another commenter noted when i heard the news, and i felt proud of our soldiers. The struggle i think many Americans are having is an Issue of conscience, this struggle never gets old but only re-emerges when it is challenged in a new way. I hope people don't use this struggle to create more division, but chose to go deeper into the place that keep the human in humanity.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I celebrate the courageous work accomplished by our military to ensure this monster no longer walks among us! Who cares what you folks think. It's clear that you didn't sacrifice anything and never will.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  10. T-party

    As agnostic I could care a less what muslims,Christians,hindu's ect think about my celebration. I am very proud of our brave troops. I hope we bring them home to protect our boarders against the filthy invaders from Mexico into Texas,New Mexico and Arizona.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Godless Atheist

      Amen! as an atheist I don't get to say that too often. The only thing is that we don't have his body. It should have been dragged though the streets of New York and crucified at Ground Zero. I lost friends on 9/11. To me this is not an obscure concept. It's personal. Religion was the cause of 9/11. Their invisible sky buddy wanted blood.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I don't expect you two geniuses to figure out, but, you're in the same category of terrorist. Never wanting to be included in community. Always acting out with ignorance.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  11. T-party

    @Heaven sent,I guess God directed the planes into the towers, I guess God directed the plane into the pentagon. I guess God directed the plane down in PA. ...Heaven sent your logic of God shows your lack of any intelligence and lack of any ability to reason for yourself.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      T-party, if you are that stupid that you can't figure out you are responding to the fake heavensent, I don't know what to tell you other than don't post under my handle in the first place.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  12. KeninTexas

    I am uneasy with the celebrations of this guy being killed. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's no longer around to cause trouble. But my feelings are more like grim determination that the job needed done and it was done. Regardless of how evil he was, and he was very evil, he's still a human being who took the wrong road. I feel sorry for him but I am also glad he's gone. He caused a lot of pain and suffering around the world. Not just in the USA, but in lots of countries. And the scary part is, he inspired others who are now plotting more suffering for the world that we don't know about yet.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
    • Woodrow

      Lol – he took "the wrong road."??? You make it sound like he got into some pot while at college. I don't feel sorry for him. I don't feel anything for him.

      We weren't trying to rehab Bin Laden, or discover his Mommy/Daddy issues and get to the deeper meaning of his actions. Bullet to the head. Done. One tumor gone. On to the next.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • alanjay1

      And then the next? And then the next?

      Hate and death only breed more hate and death.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Woodrow

      @alanjay1 – You're right. We can just sit down at the White House for a beer and hash our our differences.

      How old are you?

      May 4, 2011 at 1:19 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Kenin, it's time you read material on what a psychopath/sociopath is. If you feel the same way after reading they are devoid of emotions and have no remorse for anything they do, then you have some serious issues.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  13. Karin

    Though, I can sympathize with your bewilderment to the celebration of killing a vile individual. I can't understand how someone could worship a warlord and yet be bewildered over this celebration.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Karin, it's all the weenie non-believers throwing wrenches into any wheel that complains about everything. They know nothing, do nothing, say everything that pops into their pee brains.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:22 am |
  14. Julie

    An eye for an eye, ok, he was evil, yes, he killed many who didn't deserve, absolutely. That is not the question. The question is, should his or anyone's, for that matter) death be celebrated? I don't think so.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Skinz

      Osama caused us great pain and suffering almost a decade ago.. thousands were killed, families and friends affected tragically.. and these were innocent bystanders going about their daily lives.. Osama lived to hate everyone opposed to him and wished death upon all Americans whether you liked it or not.. so for that, I am glad he's dead.. I would've killed him myself if I had the chance to but I would've done it with my bare hands (once again, if possible) U.S.A!

      May 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • alanjay1

      Skinz: That's sick man. What gives any man the right to be the executioner of another? You might play a lot of Call of Duty, but taking another man's life in the real world probably wouldn't be so easy. You should thank God you don't have to be put in that position.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Julie, if a mass murderer takes your life and devastates your family and friends, we'll remember not to celebrate the demise of the person who wiped you off the face of this planet.

      Are you kidding me? What is your brain filled with? I dare you to go tell your nonsense face to face with the 1000s of families that lost loved ones to this monster.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  15. Muhammad

    NONE IS GOD EXCEPT ALLAH

    May 3, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
    • T-party

      Prove it Muhammad !!!!

      May 3, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  16. memphis

    The Bible says an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth he that lives by the sword shall die by it. Bin Laden was the prime example. Sin is sin no matter who u are we all reap what we sow. Every act is a part of the story do u kno how it ends? ( pray always)

    May 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
    • Peter F

      Yeah, but we're not just talking about judgment... we're talking about reveling in it. Dancing, drinking and cheering because a man died. That is going a bit further than simply an eye for an eye

      May 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • alanjay1

      So then what happens to the man who put a bullet through his head? I'm not saying that Bin Laden deserved to live...but follow through with your logic.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Peter F, get over your political correct garbage. PC is opposite of Jesus' truth. Christians celebrate when an enemy of Jesus Christ is no longer bringing terror to the people. We are suppose to send pre-meditated murderers (in this case, mass murderer) up to Him. Jesus will handle bin Laden.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Peter F

      @HeavenSent (fake or otherwise)

      I'm talking about love and respect for life, dude. That has nothing to do with being PC.

      You say that "Christians celebrate when an enemy of Jesus Christ is no longer bringing terror to the people."

      Are we not called to LOVE our enemies? Do remember that from the Gospel of Matthew? Jesus himself said this. Also, I'll direct you to look at Ephesians 6:12: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

      May 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  17. tejun

    Osama was a billionaire, a Lord/Caliphate of the land, he compelled the poor and meek to die for him and his claims. He had fantasies of being the next great Persian to subdue Greece/the West. Anytime a Lord dies at the hands of vassals, I celebrate. Of course OUR Lords are taking credit for it... but you and I knew it was a vassal who pulled the trigger and took fire while bursting into the compound.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Osama is dead because God wanted him dead. He guided our leaders and fighting men and destroyed this evil man. It was God's time why he is dead.
      Amen.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @HeavenSent

      You said: "Osama is dead because God wanted him dead. He guided our leaders and fighting men and destroyed this evil man. It was God's time why he is dead."

      If this is true of Osama bin Laden, it must also be true of every person on the planet. So every child that dies of cancer, dies because it is god's will.? A person who dies at the hands of another, dies as part of god's plan.? Even the aborted, were aborted in god's time.?

      Amen and Cheers!

      May 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Davey, I have missed your post. Where have yah been my friend and respected adversary or have I just missed your post in the crowd we get now days?

      Sad to see you on one of Stephen Prothero's "my Takes", his positions are no days to flat to get any real movement except for the movement coming out of his .... never mind ... 🙂

      May 3, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Miracle Manna

      HeavenSent,

      God is a very slow worker. Why didn't God find the time to take Bin Laden out after the U.S.S. Cole bombing long before 9/11? That would have been very helpful and a really doggone nice thing to do. Why wait almost 10 years after 9/11? Is he testing us? Perhaps God Is not omnipotent? Perhaps he actually doesn't give a crap? Perhaps he doesn't exist? Hmmmm...

      Inquiring minds want to know.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Fake heavensent. I do believe that you are past the stalking stage and are a terrorist wanna be.

      Amen.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:10 am |
  18. Andrzej Basaj

    Celebrating anyone's death shames christianity. It takes us back in time to the "Illiad" world. It is so paganish.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • BG

      Initially celebrating the death of an adversary who has caused you harm has nothing to do with religion. It's a purely emotional response that mitigates frustration, anger, and fear. Never been in a fight, Andrzej? Peace out.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • gary

      Don't be so pious. More people have died in the name of religion than any other cause.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Woodrow

      @Andrzej Jasaj – Bin Laden would have cut of your head and those of your family members while video taping and toasting to it after. He wasn't what you think of as human. Get over it or get out of the way.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • salvatore

      Careful now. If you get to bring up the Illiad we get to bring up the Crusades.

      May 4, 2011 at 3:48 am |
  19. BG

    It's war, Prothero, not an ethereal mystery of the universe.

    One bad guy down. Be happy. He killed people* just like you and me. (* or maybe there's a question in your mind about this?)

    OBL's dead, and you're making comparisons between Muslims' dancing in the street and us? How about thanking our soldiers and their families for their sacrifice to this end instead of denigrating them? Prothero, you're a puss. You need to get over to the bacchanalia and have a beer.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • WickedNorth

      Those who celebrated after 9/11 were happy because US

      May 3, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • WickedNorth

      Those who celebrated after 9/11 were happy because US was either killing them, or funding the killing, kind of like what OBL did with Americans. They aren't so different after all.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • BG

      @ WickedNorth

      "US was either killing them, or funding the killing..."

      Really? How about some examples.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • alanjay1

      And what do you know about war? The people partying in the streets look more like they're celebrating a Super Bowl Championship than anything else. A total lack of respect for the gravity of the situation. This isn't a football game.

      You want to know what would send a message to the Muslim world? Respect and peace. To much of the rest of the world, we don't represent either.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:10 am |
  20. Peter F

    As the author says, "It is human to get angry. It is human to want revenge. It is human to hate your enemies, and to throw your hands in the air in exultation after they are killed."

    But we are called to live by something greater than all of this – the radical love of Christ.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Rogue

      @Peter F – You make him sound like a se-x offender.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Peter F

      Those who think love is equivalent to s3x are mightily misled

      May 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Carolyn in Austin

      @Peter F AMEN! You said it straight. We can be at peace in our souls, but should not be jubilant. Steadfast moving on. Justice belongs to the Lord, not to us. There are many who will use this behavior to prove how evil and what hypocrites Americans are.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Woodrow

      @Peter F – read the Old Testament much?

      May 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Peter F

      @Woodrow

      Yes.

      May 3, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Woodrow

      @Peter F – I missed the part with David and Goliath where God had Israel sit in silence for some time of reflection, contemplating their lives and the wasted life of Goliath.

      If I remember it correctly, David cut off Goliath's head, Israel shouted in triumph, and then chased down the Philistines and pretty well littered the countryside with them. Consider this our shout of triumph. David, a man after God's own heart, carried Goliath's head back to Jerusalem.

      If you're going to pretend to be the mouthpiece of God make sure you don't just select the touchy-feely stuff that you're comfortable with. There were times that the other cheek was turned, and times when the sword was raised and there was a "triumphant shout" as in the case of Goliath after his death. If the USA has ever had a Goliath, Bin Laden was it.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:32 am |
    • Peter F

      @Woodrow

      I never claimed that everything about Christianity was touchy-feely. It's a stereotype that much of the secular world places on Christians (and often rightly so). Many of us have a tendency to ignore the points in Scripture where God shows power, wrath and judgment because we don't often dwell on the anger of Jesus. So it is good that you bring it up.

      That said, I don't see God endorsing a celebration following the defeat of Goliath. And it truly does not seem to be the point of the story anyway... God used someone small to defeat someone big, and in the process God demonstrated his power to overthrow the "giants" of the world. The Israelite camp pounced on the death of Goliath as an opportunity to hit the enemy when they were weak. And it surely worked out.

      If you try to fight against God, you will lose. But mocking someone for experiencing judgment seems to spawn more hatred and evil. Whereas, if you love someone and grieve for them you are showing signs of reconciliation.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:43 am |
    • Woodrow

      "I don't see God endorsing a celebration following the defeat of Goliath."

      There is no evidence that he condemned it either.

      I do have a problem with people who may be emotionally removed more than others from the situation telling folks that their reaction is against God's will somehow. This is intensely personal for a lot of people, and some have been haunted by the fact that Bin Laden was able to get away with the murder of their friends and family members. Telling people how they should feel (or shouldn't feel) with finally getting rid of this guy is beyond what anyone should attempt to do.

      Let them be.

      May 4, 2011 at 1:57 am |
    • Peter F

      @Woodrow

      Truly God did not condemn the Israelite behavior, but I would be hard-pressed to say with any certainty that they were celebrating the victory. They "shouted" of course. But what did they shout? Were they jubilant? It needs to be known that the Bible is not a play-by-play book. It does not tell us God's att1tude (or the people's) towards every single event recorded – great or small. So we should not try to read into it what it is not communicating in one way or another. And in this case, the issue isn't raised.

      As far as the Americans celebrating the death of OBL... well I can't and shouldn't tell them how to feel. You're right about that. But I can say that some situations call for a little more restraint. We are better than this. But instead of showing our betterness, we are showing that we can be just as vile as all those people in the ME who celebrated at the falling of the twin towers. I wish we could have been the bigger man...

      May 4, 2011 at 2:08 am |
    • Woodrow

      "we are showing that we can be just as vile as all those people in the ME who celebrated at the falling of the twin towers. I wish we could have been the bigger man..."

      Hang on – you're actually equating the celebrations that following the murder of thousands of innocents on 9/11 to people celebrating our finally catching up to and killing the guy that was responsible for those murders? You're saying it makes us vile and that there is an equivalence there. Boy, did you lose me.

      The park down the street from me is named after a neighbor kid who enlisted in the army in direct response to 9/11. He wanted to go to help track down Bin Laden and he got his wish. The park is named after him because he didn't return, and I had the privilege of playing taps at the dedication.

      Bin Laden didn't directly kill him. His mere existence and the extremists he trained did. I am genuinely happy that Osama is gone, and if people want to dance about it because they finally see justice at long-last, so be it.

      May 4, 2011 at 3:00 am |
    • Peter F

      There's a difference in being relieved that he is gone and being jubilant (to the point of dancing and shouting in the streets) that a man died.

      May 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
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