I feed, bath and get the kids off to bed so mommy can have some much coveted quite time. I’m watching one of my favorite shows, Brother’s and Sisters when Brody’s about to tell Nora why he left her and (now we know) his baby girl, Sarah in the hospital when that darn “Special News Report” screen flashes on my screen. Yes, I’m giving it a good ole fashioned country cussin because what can’t wait 15 minutes to the regular news hour?
George Stephanopolus announces in a solemn and serious newscaster voice that Osama Bin Ladin has been killed!
My mouth dropped open a bit as he tells of “sources” reporting to ABC news the US was able to kill Bin Ladin during a special forces attack in Northwestern Pakistan.
Boy, do I feel like a douche!
Of course, this is HUGE news, worthy of breaking my programming. But I have to admit, my first reaction was one of disbelief. C’mon, when Lindsey Lohan’s arrest is known around the world before she even reaches the police station…I was a bit skeptical about all this. No leaks, tweets, or rumblings of our people even POSSIBLY knowing where public enemy number 1 was hiding.
Immediately comes to my mind is another round of “Al Gore’s just been elected President” scenario. Where news stations were so wrapped up with breaking the story first, they didn’t confirm all their facts before bringing it to the public. I was bracing myself for another round of back peddaling and formal apologies.
But it never came.
President Barrack Obama confirmed the event in no uncertain terms. I even tweeted it to tell those who might not know.
Trucker Hubby called to see if I had heard the news. We talked a bit about it, both of us still in shock over it all. After a half hour, I let him get back to sleep and I continue to watch the story unfold on MSNBC. Still amazed by it all.
Then this morning my 10 year old son asks “Who’s Bin Laden?”
I asked if he knew what 9/11 was? I just knew he was going to say something smart ell-icky comment like “DUH” but he said no. NO!
I sat there for a moment amazed at his innocence of it all. Then horrified! Horrified I had to be the one to tell him about it. Keep in mind, my 10 year old is high functioning Autistic so this requires some gentle navigation.
I start by explaining what the term 9/11 referenced, September 11 in the year 2001…the year he was born. I really simplify the situation and tell him some really bad people stole some air planes and flew them into several buildings in America killing LOTS and LOTS of people. He murmured a few words when I said the crash killed the people on the plane, in the buildings and the men who stole them. He said good they shouldn’t kill people. I told him he was right but went on to explain the President and military figured out those men were working for someone else. The President and the military also figured out who told those men to steal the planes and kill all those people. I told him we couldn’t find that man and he has been hiding for 10 years.
He’s shaking his head like he understands and puts the math together. He was born in 2001 and he’s 10 years old. That’s a long time.
Finally I go on to tell him our military found him last night and killed him. Before he could say much, I went on to say they wanted to arrest him but Bin Laden wanted to fight back. I explained it’s like when a bad man shoots at a police man, the police man has to shoot back to protect himself and the other people around so the military had to shoot Bin Laden.
He was okay with it all in the end. But I wanted to tell him before he went to school in case there’s any talk about it at the school or on the bus.
Amid all the reporting and commentary I still have questions: Bin Laden was found on a 1 acre million dollar fortress in an upper scale neighborhood about 35 miles from a military facility what NBC said is the equivalent to our West Point Academy. THIRTY FIVE MILES. And no one knew he was there? The Pakistani government did NOT know about this sprawling fortified compound in a residential neighborhood? No one looked at the sore thumb and wondered “What the heck is this and WHO lives here?”
While I’m hopeful all these questions will be answered in the coming days, possibly weeks, I stand in awe at the images of American’s spontaneously coming together in celebration. From the streets of New York to the Phillies/Mets game to the crowd outside the White House, it’s just an amazing image.
While I have mixed feelings about feeling happy about someone’s death, nonetheless I am happy Bin Laden is no longer on this earth to wreak havoc whether as a symbol of terror or as an active participant.
I struggled with whether to post anything about this today but felt compelled. I’m not sure why but I feel better sharing my story.