Monday, May 2, 2011

Where Were You? (When the World Stopped Turning)

I remember it like it was yesterday, and oddly enough like it was forever ago.  I was sitting in my freshman year biology class, first period of the day.  All of the students were in our seats, our teacher walked in a few minutes late with a deeply sad expression.  She said she didn't want to start just yet, that we should wait for an announcement to be made over the intercom.  This was before the days that everyone had access to the internet on their cell phones, let alone that everyone had a phone.  By this time anyone who had a phone had it turned off and stuck in the bottom of their backpack for fear of it getting taken away.  None of us young students, I was just 14, could have ever dreamed of what we were about to hear.

The song of the day is "Where Were You? (When the World Stopped Turning)" by Alan Jackson.

Our principal came over the PA system and started talking.  We heard the words 'World Trade Center,' 'planes crashed,' 'terror.'  We were instructed not to go outside to get to the opposite sides of the building, that it would be okay if we were late to our classes in different wings.  What a day.  That day, a beautiful September day, changed my world and the world around me.

As news broke last night of Osama bin Laden's death, I wasn't sure what to feel.  What would the last 10 years have been like if not for this man?  Would the terrible events of September 11th have occurred without him?  Would our country be in the worst financial situation it's seen in decades if not for 9/11?  Or would something catastrophic have happened at the hands of someone else if bin Laden had not?  Would the thousands of people killed on our soil, and the thousands of brave men and women overseas, have perished in some other manner?  Or would my world still feel safe?  I think of the ripple effect of that day.  The number of people directly and indirectly effected.  The world changed.  The children born since September 11th only know a world at war.  They see a world in which hatred and pain rule headlines.  What a shame.  When I was 10 I believed in the good of the people around me and accepted those around me.  Now there are people who doubt others intentions and question them if they look different from us or believe in a different God.  What a shame.

It feels so odd to think of rejoicing in another man's death, no matter what he did.  He was a human being.  He was one of God's children.  But he was evil.  He caused so much heartache and destruction.  Do I praise his death or do I pray?

I know I will be praying that he had his chance at salvation, I believe that we all do whether we accept to be saved or not.  Am I happy that this man no longer has a chance to cause pain to anyone else?  Yes.  I will forever live in the world that he changed and I am forever grateful to the men and women who helped to capture him.

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