May 4th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

My Take: No apology for celebrating after bin Laden's death

Editor's Note: Lauren Kolodkin is an undergraduate student at Boston University; among her professors is CNN Belief Blog contributor Stephen Prothero, who wrote that the celebrations that followed bin Laden's death made him cringe.

By Lauren Kolodkin, Special to CNN

For the past 10 years, my generation has had it pretty bad.

Our youth was taken away by the attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Our teen years were pockmarked by the Great Recession. Our college days are splattered with political unrest. And when we graduate from college, we will emerge overeducated and underprepared into an America with no jobs, no opportunities and no hope.

My generation has been told for years that our world is a place where there is little reason to celebrate anything.

But then, on Sunday night, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda, mastermind of the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed in Pakistan. The man who murdered thousands of Americans and instigated the war on terror is finally gone. And my generation celebrated.

Hundreds of college students across the city gathered in Boston Common and cheered together. I went from my dorm at BU. We cursed bin Laden and sang rousing renditions of “God Bless America.” We smiled and laughed and waved at cameras. A friend of mine turned to me and said, “Someday we’ll talk about this with our children. This is amazing.” For a night, at least, we forgot our troubles and reveled in the joy of our peers.

But what exactly were we celebrating that night? Someone’s death?

I know some students who shied away from the celebrations, in Boston and elsewhere, because they felt uncomfortable cheering someone else’s demise. We are taught by our parents, by God, by the world around us that life is sacred, and death is a time for reflection, not revelry. For some people, this death renews memories of a mother or father lost, a friend gone or a life ruined.

Closure is rarely delivered by vengeance, and this death surely isn’t the end of our sorrow. A bullet through the icon of terror does not bring your sister or brother back, it doesn’t rebuild the twin towers, and it doesn’t erase a decade of sadness and hardship.

I cannot imagine what it would have been like to lose someone on 9/11. I’m not from New York. I don’t know anyone who works at the Pentagon. No one I knew died on that day. But I remember watching my fourth grade teacher cry that morning and refusing to tell us why, because she’d been instructed to leave that grim task to our parents.

I remember getting off the bus to find my mother waiting to tell me what had happened. I remember seeing the smoke on the television screen, choking me from a distance, clips of disaster playing over and over again.

I remember seeing Osama bin Laden’s face for the first time. I was 9 years old.

My generation is cursed by those images of horror and destruction. We are cursed by that face. And since that day, we have been burdened with the consequences.

But on May 1, 2011, something changed. A man who hurt so many people will never hurt anyone again. I know that this is not the last of horrible men, but at least it is the last of this horrible man, this symbol of hatred and war and bloodshed.

That is why my generation celebrated on Sunday night and Monday morning. We did not celebrate his death; we celebrated the dawn of a new day without bin Laden. We celebrate because maybe the world isn’t as bad as they told us. We celebrate because we can.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Lauren Kolodkin

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Death • Osama bin Laden • Terrorism

soundoff (642 Responses)
  1. J Philip Faranda

    More power to you Lauren.
    I agree, at 2am May 2 after the death was confirmed my wife and I toasted a future with no OBL. We needed to bring this evil monster to justice, we did, and it was a cathartic moment for our entire country.

    May 5, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  2. San

    This is the dumbest, whiniest piece of C I've ever read and I cannot believe this is on CNN, hard to take all of this seriously... I want my 2 minutes back.

    May 5, 2011 at 4:04 am |
  3. Reality

    And the celebration continues with these words:

    Contemporary NT exegetes specialize in historic Jesus studies. Requirements to join, typically a PhD in Religious History or Religion with a proven record of scholarship through reviews of first to third century CE scripture and related docu-ments.

    Their scholarship and reasoning trump the 2000 years of orthodox, superst-ition-driven mumbo-jumbo. It is no accident that you see such an outpouring of thinking by such a large number of atheists in these discussions. Most of these non-believers have escaped the clutches of orthodox Christian and Jewish craziness. Hopefully one day we will see a huge number of Muslims making their great leap forward. Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie are showing the way in this regard.

    For those interested in an analysis of sayings and ways of the historical Jesus where said analysis, based on the number of scriptural attestations and the stratum or time period of their "recording", separates the actual utterances of Jesus from the embellishments and fiction, see http://www.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan1.rtf and http://www.faithfutures.org/Jesus/Crossan2.rtf

    Then there is rational thinking. For example:

    The physical resurrection aka Easter of anyone does not compute scientifically or theologically i.e. Heaven for one thing is a spirit state as concluded by Aquinas. Also, the scriptural reports don't "jive" with respect to the required attestations.

    Paul erred about the second coming 2000 years ago. It "ain't" going to happen now or in the future either again because there is no place for all those bodies to go. And Earth is going "bye-bye" with next astroid collision and/or in few billion years when the Sun goes "boom".

    May 4, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Realty

      And the calibration of your brain with your copying and pasting continues:







      May 5, 2011 at 3:56 am |
  4. Gil T

    This refusal to apologize is summed up by the anemic sham of "love-the-sinner-not-the-sin" as "celebrate-not-his-death-celebrate-a-day-without-him." The Kolodkin perspective of America seems void if not of faith certainly of hope. It's understandable one without hope would find great joy in _ the absence of a dead man?

    I would no more feel the need to ask or expect an apology than need to participate in the sham of a celebration over Bin Laden's death. Oh sure, it's anyone's prerogative. It does not trouble me.

    The celebration strikes me as America's antiphonal response to the opening stanza in that celebration song heard in various parts of the world on September 11 when the Twin Towers were toppled. No doubt one as much as the other feels righteous and justified in their celebration.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  5. Chin

    I can understand and sympathize both points of view. No matter which side you might take, the point is that the man, good or evil, is dead. And I'm sure there's justice out there...if not in this world or this life, there surely is justice out in the after life or next life. He will be held accountable for what he did.

    The more important thing is how we, as individual Americans, as a nation, as part of the human race, choose to move forward. We can continue the endless cycle of anger, hatred and self-destruction and point our fingers and blame every situation and everyone for the misery. True peace around the world can begin with inner peace. We cannot control what others might do, we surely can control of what we as individuals, do, feel and act. Seek the peace within yourself first and help others to do the same... and the world will become a better place for it, one person, one day at a time..

    May 4, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Rogue

      If something has a cause that can be verified, then why should we refuse to lay the blame where it belongs? Out of some misplaced and unrealistic call for peace? Count me out. I refuse to seek peace where it is not called for or warranted.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  6. Johanna

    First off Lauren, please cease speaking for a whole generation, it makes you seem like an egotistical idiot. You don't speak for me.
    I too was 9 when the twin towers fell and I too remember watching them fall again and again in the news report until I could do nothing but cry. Yes I had nightmares and fears of it happening again, but my childhood wasn't ruined.
    "Our youth was taken away by the attacks on 9/11" – My youth wasn't taken away, yes there were times when it was frightening but my childhood was good and my parents did a good job in protecting me from the harshest of realities (maybe you should ask your parents why they wouldn't do the same for you?)
    "Our teen years were pockmarked by the Great Recession" – Really? How many times did you go hungry? Did your parents stand in a line for rations? The fact that you attend a university informs me that you probably haven't been nearly as touched by the 'great recession' as you seem to think you are....
    "Our college days are splattered with political unrest." – As opposed to anyone who grew up in any other decade??? Please name me a decade in the recent history that didn't suffer from some form of war (hot or cold) and political unrest. You don't hold a monopoly on stressful situations.
    "And when we graduate from college, we will emerge overeducated and underprepared into an America with no jobs, no opportunities and no hope." – Really? You should become an actress because the drama is just dripping off of you. I am excited about graduation and working my butt off to get as far into my career as I can before I retire and enjoy my family. Obviously if you are expecting to step out of school and into a cushy 6 figure position you might find that there is no hope, maybe you should fall back into reality?
    "My generation has been told for years that our world is a place where there is little reason to celebrate anything" Again with the 'my generation' junk. I don't know who helped raise you but they did a crap job of it if all they did was fill your head with how horrible the world is. I (and my friends) seem to be able to view the world realistically but are still able to find joy and many things to celebrate without having to jump around like a fool about the death of a human being.
    "My generation is cursed by those images of horror and destruction. We are cursed by that face. And since that day, we have been burdened with the consequences." – This has got to be the most egotistical statement. EVERY generation was affected by these events and by Osama. I remember watching my mother cry, I remember holding my friend while she spoke about losing her uncle in the first tower, and I remember seeing my grandparents reliving world war 2 all over again... it affected everyone all over the country. We have not been burdened any more than anyone else.
    Celebrate if you want but please don't claim it is because our generation had it bad. We have probably been the luckiest of generations, we have every advantage at the tip of our fingers and the knowledge of what to do with it, even with the two wars going on. The pictures of 'my generation' cheering and chanting actually makes me ashamed to be a member of this generation.
    If you were to rewrite this and take out the 'us', 'we', 'our' and replace it with 'me' and 'I' it would be more accurate and true as opposed to a bunch of bull and waste of space.

    May 4, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  7. M Ruzza

    I presume that you are chronicling your genuine feelings; I respect your right to express them and I am sorry for any rough time you've had growing up in the aftermath of 9/11. But I do find it difficult to drum up a lot of blanket sympathy for those of your 'generation" who say that they have lost their youth and are forever cursed by images horror and destruction ( media, not real life, exposure, for the most part.) I think that viewing yourselves as so hard-done by clearly lacks maturation and a knowledge of history (for a taste of lost youth and horror, think of the generations who lived though World Wars I and II and Vietnam. There's not a lot of reason to try to buck oneself up by looking other people who had had it rougher than you, by perhaps a look at a bigger picture could neutralize the self-absorbtion of so many who have too little reason to whine and have even less reason to own a celebration.

    May 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
  8. Bob Robillard

    My only regrets about the death of Bin Laden is that it did not occur many years ago and that he did not experience the terror and agony in dying that he visited upon so many others. The burial at sea, in keeping with his religion, was quite civilized. I would have preferred that he be fed to the pigs. I find it strange that GW Bush was incapable of finding Bin Laden, yet he was quickly located by the Obama administration. Could it be the Bush was protecting a member of this wealthy family?

    May 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Could it be that you are just another jaded person who no matter who does what or whatever you will first define your politics?

      For some of you on the extremes on both sides I do not think the news of Bin Laden's death was more important than the hurt that each felt when Obama spoke positively of Bush in his speech and when Bush congradulated Obama in his.

      What are all of going to say if waterboarding got the final piece of information? The world might fly off its axis.

      May 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Jane Smith

      Fed to the pigs? Hog tied and fed alive.....now that would have been justice.

      May 5, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  9. Mark from Middle River

    Woof, if she had to suffer through Prothero for a semester she deserves our pity if you are a atheist and prayers if you are a person of Faith.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm |
  10. Woof

    So all you have to do to write for CNN is to be someone else's teacher's pet?

    Considering that she certainly writes ordinary stuff in ordinary prose, and she did not do any research or have any original thoughts, I would have to say that she an absolute natural and should be hired full time.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Shawn

      If anything, that was purely original. I am from her generation and she over-embellished everything in the article..except maybe how old she was when the towers fell.

      May 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  11. Muneef

    The WP Virtual Islamic School (http://www.witness-pioneer.org/VSchool/index.htm) (WPVS) is a project of Witness-Pioneer, an Internet-based Islamic Organization that is dedicated for the study of Islam through authentic sources.

    WPVS is offering a course to start (April 29, 2011 ~ August 26, 2011) Inshallah. Details are as follows:

    HP101: International and Interfaith Relations: Islamic Perspectives: 
     Name of the Course:  Visit http://witness-pioneer.org/VSchool/hp101.htm

    May 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
  12. Ellen

    You may feel sorrow. I witnessed all the horrific images of the war in Vietnam. So, yes, we all have our feelings of dis pare. But feeling sorrow for yourself is not helping. Not helping you, not helping the world, not helping your generation and the following one. It even is harmful. Often violence is born out of feeling pity for ourself. In fact your message is harmful in every way. Celebrating ones death is still a violent act in itself too and justifying it even more. I know you've searched for an excuse and it therefore indicates that you are not comfortable with it. But you make the same mistake as generations before you. This will not break the cycle. Your intentions maybe good, but the outcome is always bad.

    Someone asked you: What are you going to do about it?

    The main reasons for war is poverty, inequality and the eye-for-an-eye acts.
    But somehow we all wanted a car, a big house etc. We were even celebrating the selfish millionaire life and still do.

    So there is something in this message that is not looked at: The Brain.

    Luckily we know little by little more about the human brain. We gave names to all diseases. One of the most scariest one is the smart paranoid psychopath. I won't give you a lecture. But it is clear that they are the evilest, but also the least detected ones (because they are so smart). They are not in few numbers, in fact studies show that 5% of management have psychopathic characteristic. They love power, show no remorse and are awfully charming when it comes to get results for themselves. They probably are the bullies at your school. Scientists discovered that they miss the Oops-part of the brain. There are tests to find out if someone is a psychopath. And yes, this can be a world saving discovery.

    So with this knowledge men are able to discover them. We have to make sure that every manager/politician or other high ranking officer takes this test. Furthermore: education is important for everyone. Cherish not the selfish millionaire life, but instead give and you will get love back. And the world will be a better place. And don't ever feel sorry for yourself again.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Bob

      1 Timothy 4:2

      (2) speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
      New King James Version

      In I Timothy 4:2, Paul speaks of people searing or cauterizing their consciences with a hot iron. Willard Gaylin writes that "the failure to feel guilt is the basic flaw in the psychopath, or antisocial person, who is capable of committing crimes of the vilest sort without remorse or contrition." We could describe the unpardonable sin as the incapacity to feel remorse or a person's determination to override every warning signal of guilt. If people repeatedly violate their consciences, masking their guilt by using escapist "analgesics," the consequences become devastating. Without the stimulus of spiritual pain, they become incapable of changing their behavior.

      This seared conscience is the ultimate result of the process Paul describes in Romans 1:28: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over [abandoned them, Twentieth Century New Testament] to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting." Though God desires to grant all men repentance (II Peter 3:9), a person can reach a point where it is no longer possible because, in his perversion and wickedness, he has burned his conscience to cinders.

      We need to thank God for the capacity to feel both physical and spiritual pain. It provides us with the warning and the motivation to change—to be transformed into the image of our Savior Jesus Christ. In accepting His sacrifice for our sins, we take upon ourselves the responsibility—with God's help—to diagnose and eradicate the sins that cause the spiritual pain in the first place, to bring us into vibrant spiritual health. As the author of Hebrews writes, "Now no chastening [painful discipline] seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it" (Hebrews 12:11).

      David F. Maas
      Excerpted from:
      Guilt: Our Spiritual Pain

      May 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Ellen

      Guess I have to explain what I mean with feeling sorry for yourself. You may feel sorrow and pain, you must. It wouldn't be good if you didn't. What I mean is that you victimize yourself by pointing the other as the one who is all to blame. You dismantle yourself from all the blame. When you are doing that you take no responsibility, you will take no action to better yourself. That is not helpful and can even be harmful for others. This 'sorry for yourself' can easily turn into hatred and, yes, also start wars.

      May 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  13. frank

    Lol @ the little violin concerto on the mean man stealing her youth cause he was mean to somebody, and she saw the sad people on her plasma tv, and it made her sad, and when she gets out of university it might be hard to find an awesome high-paying job. Seriously? No, really–you're serious right now?

    May 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • markci

      You're a moron right now.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  14. Mark from Middle River

    The one thing I notice was that all the news shows on both sides, stated that Muslims around the world were so very happy that bin laden was dead. After he killed more Muslims than Americans in his terror years. If this was true where are the scenes of Muslims cheering in the streets? If what all the news are trying to condition us to believe that the bulk did not like him,... where are cheers? I do not expect stars and stripes to be waving in the streets of Kabel but maybe a few roses or letters at the US embassy saying thanks.

    I think this is another one of those things that Muslims, saddly have missed the boat on. If we had seen that night on CNN, FoxNews or MsNBC scenes at Time Square or the Whie House and maybe just one Muslim group or some one celebrating ..... that would have erased a mountian of doubt. Heck, they could have done it at a Mosque or the place they want to buld the mosque in NYC.

    Part of being American is knowning when you see the pictures of Time Square when WW2 ended that somewhere in that crowd there were Germans, Italians.. I even saw African Americans...with the Civil Rights denied to them... all of these were in there because they were all Americans.

    Once again the Muslim popluation has lost the chance to stand up and be counted. Their silence will always leave a small peice of doubt in the rest of society on who's side do they stand on.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • nerdgirl

      After 9/11 the US was sad and the world mourned with us but we also found hope. I am sorry for the author of this piece that she did not see that nor does she recognize that in response to what happened to us, we set off a war that has claimed over 100,000 Iraqis and over 6,000 coalition troops. We are rejoicing the death of Osama bin Laden but are forgetting what we have also done in response. There are 4,000 lives from 9/11 gone, 100,000 civilians, and 6,000 coalition dead-gone-(not able to experience college life at Boston University) as a result of Osama bin Laden's initial actions. I am sorry that the author's generation did not feel they could celebrate and had to live through a recession but I am more sorry for the people who don't have a chance to live at all.

      May 5, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  15. Frogist

    Just wanted to point out one thing. The underhanded se-xism of some here needs to stop. Yes, the author is female. Yes, her opinion might not be yours. But do you need to demean her by calling her "sweetie" and "honey" too? State your opinion one human being to another and your point might have some more validity. Otherwise, you just look like just another troll.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      While you are 100% right Frogist but you have to admit, after all this time, ..

      The belief blog is not a nice forum. This is as bareknuckles of blogging as there is on the net. The way folks debate here is as close to the Roman Colosseum in gladiator. All we need sometimes is someone to scream "Scipio Africanus" and let the attacks begin. That they are calling her sweatie and such... part of me says its wrong but part of me wants to say that she, as a poster, should not be spared from any of the types of responces and replies that most folks get here.

      Think about it, if it was Hill Clinton(D) or Sarah Palin(R) posting... would you or any of us be as protective?

      May 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Mel

      We'll all be nice now. Thanks, Sugarti ts.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Alex Oliveira

      I couldn't be less interested in the gender of the author. Her stupidity and ignorance transcends genders and age.

      What a red herring.

      May 18, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  16. filmmonitor

    Behold America, the whiniest generation (yet) has befallen you.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • HankyPanky

      Absolutely...perfect comment!

      May 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  17. Cathie Leung

    Lauren, never apologize. In fact the celebration of your peers made me realize that your generation has just begun the task of remaking this country in your image, and the image of the future makes me proud!!! This country is in very good hands. It was the first time I realized that these students waited half their lives to see bin Laden be brought to justice and for your generation his death is just a monumental occasion as 9/11 was. Matthew Segal said, "Our generation finally gets to see what progress looks like, what it feels like when American persistence actually leads to results."

    II view the students' celebrations more of expressing relief to the end of a mass murderer and that he can't hurt any more innocent lives. More importantly, your celebrations have communicated that we as a nation is strong and from the exaltation you pass on some of that gained strength to the brave service men and women who fight on our behalf.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      I think the complete opposite. I seriously pity the generation that will have to ny generation. This girl personifies what is wrong with this world. All her 'me me me' 'I I I' makes me ashamed to be in my 20's in America.
      In fact it reminds me a lot of the baby boomers who never thought for a second about anyone but themselves while they ensured that there would be nothing left for future generations to lean back on.
      I really hope people like this girl will grow up and realize just how lucky she has been to grow up in America, warts and all.(or we could just ship them to Africa for six months for a session of tough love.)

      May 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • markci

      Get psychiatric help, Sadie.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      @markci.... so you are either Lauren or ine of her friends..... either way you are pathetic!

      May 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Sadie, The baby boomers are the people whose protests ended the Vietnam debacle, among other things. Unless you are feeling some serious nostalgia for the sort of America that existed in the 1950s, a world the boomers rejected, you might want to think twice about who you call selfish.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  18. Brian

    I can see both points of view on this. I can see where a person may be conflicted in the celebration of someone's death. I can see how people can think what is wrong when people start chanting USA at the Phillies game. I can see the point of view that some may view the US as hypocritical for celebrating death. But this was more than the death of an individual, this was a victory. This was a victory of justice, this was a victory in a War. This evilness has haunted the very foundation of our being. Every time you get on a plane, you have to second guess who is sitting next to you. Every time I see a man in turban garb, I question their patriotism to this country (fair or unfair). This man promoted hatred, death, and destruction, not only in our Nation but Nations across the world. This is a victory in that demise. This is a victory on that war. I compare this to America winning at Gettysburg. Although, the war is not over, his death is a symbolism of justice. Is it wrong to celebrate someone's death, ABSOLUTELY, but I do not think it is wrong to celebrate the demise of evil. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    May 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  19. SadieSadie

    I think I puked a little in my mouth reading this. Oh poor little you, so hard done by.
    You were all of 9 when this happened? Please remember that there are people a generation or two ahead of you that not only lost loved ones in the attacks they also then had to say goodbye to their friends and family as they went and fought a decades long war. A whole bunch of them never returned. While you sit there lamenting your 'lost childhood' I will morn lost life.
    This whole debate calls to mind a saying my grandmother used to say 'If someone jumped off a roof, should you do it too?'
    Yes the people in the middle east celebrated after 9/11 but does that mean we should? We as Americans like to think we are better than other, that we possess more decency but on Sunday evening we were proven wrong.
    We are no better than any group of humans on earth that cheer and jeer when we gave the upper hand.
    Many say they were only cheering our finally receiving justice, but if that were so we would have been out with pictures of the fallen, singing about them, telling stories about them. I don't know about you but the celebrations I saw had more to do with chanting death to OBL and America is the greatest.
    I really don't see that as celebrating justice for victims, but celebrating death to an enemy.
    Obviously you can all cheer as much as you want, but it isn't for my family and friends that died over seas... they wouldn't want it.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • markci

      You puked a little? I hope you choked on it. The gene pool would be far better off without your moronic contribution.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      Really? I have to assume that you are a troll because if not the gene pool will be drowning you soon....

      May 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • BobRoss

      "You were all of 9 when this happened? Please remember that there are people a generation or two ahead of you that not only lost loved ones in the attacks they also then had to say goodbye to their friends and family as they went and fought a decades long war. A whole bunch of them never returned. While you sit there lamenting your 'lost childhood' I will morn lost life."

      Really? So, you're saying people who were 9 when September 11th 2001 happened did not have to mourn lost life, and did not lose family and friends to the war? a) That's simply false b) Maybe lost life is a part of "lost childhood"

      May 4, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      1) I know that 9 year olds could have lost loved ones in 9/11 and the following wars, I am not saying that they didn't, but she specifically said she hadn't but is still putting on this whoa is me show.
      2) I have yet to meet a 9 year old who has gone to war or sent their friends off to war not knowing if or when they will return.
      3) You are not seriously comparing the loss of real life to this woman's idea of what is loss of childhood are you? I happen to have a sister who was 10 during 9/11 and she hasn't put on this whole show that her life has been ruined by something that has affected the whole population of the USA.
      I reread this woman's post and I have to say that it is actually insulting to anyone with half a brain. It starts off with 'my generation has had it pretty bad for the last 10 years'... really? As opposed to the rest of the country who has been sitting back and partying while the past decade has swung by with barely a bump?
      She can chose to 'party it up' all she wants but the idea that 'her generation' has had it so bad is ridiculous. I am not even 10 years older than her and I have to say that if this is how she felt growing up, her parents have done her a disservice.

      May 4, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Chelsea

      I do agree with you that the piece starts out a little whiny, but I think it's unfair to write off her reasoning and our generation. I'm the same age as the author, and I was at the White House on Sunday night. Our experiences of 9/11 were vastly different from those of older generations, even from the experience of kids two and three years older or younger. The younger kids can't remember it, and the older kids have memories more rooted in reality. We were at a tricky age at the time, because we were old enough that many of us were allowed to see the news coverage, but we weren't old enough to understand what was really going on. Most of us had never even heard of Islam or the Middle East, let alone the idea that there were people there who hated us enough to do something like that. Everything changed and none of us really knew how to cope with that. It was terrifying. And then, in the weeks that followed, we were given a person to blame. Bin Laden. He was the face we associated with terror and with planes slamming into buildings and in later weeks with out friend's older siblings and our cousins and aunts and uncles and even some parents getting deployed. All we knew was that bad things were happening, and he was the man that the media said did it. In a lot of kids the fear turned to anger and he became the first person we truly hated. Even though most now understand the political, ideological, and social factors that created Al Qaeda and their hatred of the west, by the time that happened, the damage had really already been done. We had seen so much war that we were desensitized to death, and we had thought of bin Laden as nothing but pure, unadulterated evil for so long that he wasn't really even a man anymore. He was an idea, the thing that goes bump in the night.

      When I went down to the White House on Sunday night, it wasn't to celebrate the death of a man. It was to celebrate the death of the figurehead of the organization that has changed my country. Have you ever watched a horror movie and realized about halfway through that it was way too scary and you should probably just turn it off now, but you can't because stopping it in the middle of the rampage means you can't get to the part at the end, when the bad guy gets what's coming to him, and if you can make it that far, it will just be a movie again and there's no possible way that the bad guy could be waiting for you to fall asleep because he's not real and even if he was, he's dead now? You know the feeling at the end of the movie when the bad guy finally gets what he deserves and it's like, "HAHA you can't win!" That's what it felt like on Sunday to me and a lot of other kids.

      I can't speak for anyone else who was celebrating the other night, but you're right; I don't know what it feels like to mourn the loss of a friend because of this. I didn't lose anyone on 9/11. The only people I know who were deployed are little more than acquaintances, and every one of them came home. For a lot of kids, the only face we can associate with 9/11 is bin Laden's. And he's not a factor anymore. It's like someone just curb stomped the monster under our beds. That's what we were celebrating.

      May 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oh, cry me a river. It may make you feel better to think that you suffered more than anyone else, but everyone had their own experiences in the last ten years. Have you ever considered that the author has seen and is seeing classmates and loved ones enlisting in the military?

      I remember watching footage of the Viet Nam war when I was a child. My cousin enlisted and came back a ruined man. Those memories have absolutely affected the way I think as an adult. Why do you think this is any different for this author's generation? Half of her life has been in the shadow of Bin Laden. Good for her and her friends for being relieved that the man changed their world for the worse is dead.

      May 4, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • FormFactor

      Her generation celebrates just about anything as do most 20 somethings still in college. Bin Laden's death was just another opportunity to go nuts as it was for the rest of us.
      As for having their "youth stolen" or their collective innocence on 9/11, well, you can't get much more melodramatic than that. You're right on this one SadieSadie.

      May 5, 2011 at 8:03 am |
    • Kirby

      The post 9/11 celebrations in the Middle East cheered the death of 3,000 men, women and children for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, at the hands of homicidal religious fanatics.
      The recent celebrations after bin Laden's death have cheered the destruction of the head of the group that organized the murder of 3,000 innocent men, women and children. Not really the same as the Middle East ones. At all.

      P.S. Our generation is the only one that celebrates important milestones with parties? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIKHHcT2Qm4

      May 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Alex Oliveira


      May 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  20. kim

    When the world trade center building burned and fall osama bin laden gloated taunted laughed and offer absolutely no apology regret or concern about the death of American citizens. When they killed osama bin laden I laughed shrug my shoulder and breathed a big sign of relief that the sick basturd was dead! I dont feel apologetic about how I feel because he would not give a dam if it was any of us that where dead or killed. Cheer yes annd dont feel bad believe bin laden was cheering that day ten years ago on 9/11 dont you dare feel bad he got what he deserved!

    May 4, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Concerned Student

      Good call, you should have every right to laugh the same way Bin Laden did; it's a good thing we are holding ourselves to the same moral standards as a mass murderer. Way to set the bar high....

      May 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Artist

      Concerned Student

      Good call, you should have every right to laugh the same way Bin Laden did; it's a good thing we are holding ourselves to the same moral standards as a mass murderer. Way to set the bar high....

      Do you lower your standard and morals by defending yourself?

      May 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • vasechek

      no, only by making an @$$ out of yourself after one somehwat successful parry....

      May 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.