Monday, May 2, 2011
So Long Bin Laden
Photo from Ed Konefe
Almost ten years ago I was working at the fire department when someone told me an airplane had collided with the world trade center. I ran to a TV so I could see this horrible accident. Maybe I'm naive but my mind didn't go to evil but instead to a mistake. Even when I watched the second plane strike, for a moment, I wondered how it was possible that two planes could make the same mistake on the same day. I thought back to stories of an airplane getting lost in fog and hitting the Empire State building many years ago. I couldn't imagine someone doing something so horrible to our country.
I don't live in New York or Washington. I live in Columbus, Ohio. On that day, it didn't matter where I lived because we were all Americans. I was with my firefighter brothers and sisters and we wondered if such an attack could be coming to Columbus. In hindsight it was unlikely but for a few hours, the entire country was under attack.
In between emergency calls, we watched as the towers burned. We knew our New York brothers and sisters were in the firefight of their lives but who better to do it than the best firefighters in world. And when the towers collapsed, our first thoughts were how many people were still in there. There was no way we could have imagined 343 firefighters were among the dead. That hit me a little closer to home since those guys and gals went to work that morning to do the same job I was at work doing. There is a brotherhood among firefighters and on that day, firefighters everywhere were attacked.
Last night I turned on the news to find that justice for those firefighters and everyone who died on 911 had been given out by the greatest country in the history of the planet. I don't care if you are Republican or Democrat or Independent because this day is a victory for all of us.
It feels strange for a person who fights for people's lives such as myself to be so happy that someone died. But that someone was as evil as anyone in the world. I hope today is a day that we as a country can forget all of our differences for a little while and celebrate this monumental news.
To everyone affected by 911, I say we will never forget. To the soldiers and intelligence officials who fight for us every day, I say thank you. And to Bin Laden, I say America has brought justice to you. They say Bin Laden was shot in the left eye. To that I ask, "Hey Bin Laden, how's America look to you now?"