Osama Bin Laden is dead. Some people are saying that we shouldn’t be celebrating this. This news didn’t make me want to run into the streets waving an American flag. It didn’t make me want to ululate in front of the Times Square Jumbotron.
But it did make me think of being shaken awake by my dormmate nearly 10 years ago as she asked “Doesn’t your Mom work by the Twin Towers?” It makes me remember watching in horror and disbelief as the towers, which had always loomed large and seemingly ever present over my hometown of Jersey City, fell as if they were plaster models. I remember hearing my father’s voice break as he told me “The second tower has fallen.”–he was watching with an unobstructed view from his Harborside office, without the buffer of unreality provided by a televised news feed. I didn’t hear from my mother for hours because the cell phone towers were overloaded. I remember hearing the words “al Qaeda” for the first time.
So, no, I’m not going to dance in the streets. I know there are many other problems facing this country, none of which can be solved by the death of a man who had become little more than a figurehead. But if people want celebrate, I certainly won’t be among those judging them.