I stayed up to watch the official word from the President. I didn’t feel jubilant at the news or horrified at the people who were jubilant at the news, which seemed to be the two main vibes on Twitter last night.
It’s a solemn occasion, I think. At least, that’s how I feel about it. I think it’s right that he’s dead and that he should have been dead a long time ago.
But I also can’t help but think of the people who died on that day, in those planes, climbing into the towers to save people, just going to work. Bin Laden could be dead a million times over and it wouldn’t bring those people back.
The tragedy of history is that you can’t go back. You cannot get back what has been taken from you.
And I do worry, upon watching the cheering, singing throngs, that this means for them things are resolved. And we still don’t have healthcare for first responders to 9/11. Our troops are still overseas. Families have still lost loved ones. We still became a nation that tortures people and that gave up enormous personal liberties in order to feel safe.
Things are far from resolved.
And in some ways, this may make us less safe, since it will give a fractured network of people who wish us ill something to rally around.
But it has been a long time since we have done something we said we were going to do that most people agreed needed to be done.
I guess that’s just what I mean. It is a solemn occasion. The necessary thing has been done, but we cannot forget that it doesn’t make things unbroken. What’s done cannot be undone.
Let’s just please not forget that, even if we feel like “it” is over, whatever “it” is, for a lot of our fellow Americans, it is far from over and we owe it to them not just this kind of justice, but support, ongoing support.