You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs last weekend. As the news became public, reaction varied around the world and in the United States. Crowds cheered. Others stood solemnly. Many prayed.
Criticism has come in many quarters for those in other quarters. Those who cheered were criticized for being exuberant over the death of another human being. Those who didn’t cheer were criticized for not cheering. My personal reaction was, I suppose, one of relief. I really had no impulse to gather with others, but I admit to being glad this page has been turned, even if the chapter isn’t fully over yet.
Maybe we can come together on one point at least: the end of a life whose singular purpose appeared to be creating fear and terror makes us focus once again on how destructive and viral such values are. The destruction of 9/11 has come swooping unbidden back into our memories this week. The virus of terror tends to be less obvious, and, if we let it, will infect every nation, political party and human heart. If terror engenders hatred, violence or injustice, it will have accomplished its vile purpose.
A life that lived by the sword has been ended by the sword. Let us take a moment, recommitting ourselves to ending the need for swords.
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2011