By Johanna Fleischman
Despite the sharp memories my peers have from 9/11, I barely remember the attack. Whether out of protection or fright, I do not remember my parents telling their third-grade daughter about the collapse of the Twin Towers. I remember the mother of my friend hugging her daughter tightly, her coarse hair falling over her shoulders, saying everything is going to be okay, don’t worry, you’ll be safe. I was confused.
The pieces eventually came together; I saw some footage on the computer, and my parents may have said something to me later in the day—maybe they said so years later—about how this piece of history would be a landmark in my personal history. I was still unable to comprehend the terror behind this event.
Now ten years older, and having witnessed the death of Osama bin Laden on the news, I am better able to process the depth of these events in America.
9/11 was an event that broke the hearts of millions and ended the lives of 3,497 people trapped in the World Trade Center. These lives were not only American business people, but also foreign nationals, military personnel, firefighters, policemen, civilians, and the 266 people flying on the airplanes. The evil behind this act is undeniable.
The jubilation over the death of Osama bin Laden, the leader behind the attack, is also undeniable.
I do not blame the celebrators. His death is received as a retaliation and closure. However, I cannot fully support public celebration over his death; it should be accepted and enjoyed individually. Retaliation from the remaining members of Al Qaeda could be sparked by public displays of elation.
Although Osama bin Laden is now gone, the thousands of lives lost in the 9/11 terrorist attacks have not come back. A sense of closure and contentment has blanketed the hurt that Americans endured because of the attacks, and now, this is the best and only ending for which we can hope. The American government must be commended for the expediency of Bin Laden’s capture and making difficult decisions under pressure, but the citizens who will be most commended are the Americans who accept death, and then move on.