Monday, May 2, 2011
Osama Bin Laden: Dead
I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on September 11, 2011. I walked into Ms. Allen's sophomore algebra class with my friend Kristen when she stopped dead in her tracks. Two of my football teammates, Fadil, a practicing Muslim, and Tim, were standing in the middle of the room, eyes glued to the TV. The first plane had struck the World Trade Center. Ms. Allen cancelled class that day as we watched the TV for the next 45 minutes.
I distinctly remember another of my friends and all-around good guy, Stu, asking Fadil (reminder, a practicing Muslim) very genuinly what the Qu'ran said to do next. Fadil, who I'd known since 1st grade, replied that based on the teachings of the Qu'ran that the White House, Capitol Building, or the Pentagon would likely be hit. Minutes later the Pentagon was. No one said a word, they just stood there in shock.
Later that day, football practice was cancelled for obvious reasons. Major League Baseball shut down, the NFL cancelled games for that weekend - the entire world seemignly shut down in a 2-3 hour timespan. Unfortunately, our football game wasn't cancelled that Friday and despite bringing home a 19-3 win, it still felt like a loss. One of my friend's dad was in New York City on September 11th, and was supposed to have a 10am meeting in the South Tower of the World Trade Center - he fortunately fell ill the night before and never made it to the meeting.
I remember a military recruiter coming to our school several weeks later, and just about every guy in the senior class who was old enough, registered for the Army. It home later that night as my dad was at the kitchen table holding a picture - a picture of me and him atop the World Trade Center when I was 3 years old. That's when it really hit me that the Twin Towers were gone.
Observances were held. Flyovers at sporting events took on new meaning. Belting out the Star Spangled Banner before sporting events became an even greater point of pride for all Americans. I myself even met with a Marine recruiter during my senior year of high school.
10 years later to last night. Watching E:60 on ESPN after "The Killing" on AMC (which is a terrific show if you haven't seen it), I was dozing off and saw the Red Alert "Breaking News". Figuring it was something about the NFL Lockout, I was stunned to see: "US officials report that Osama Bin Laden is dead." I woke up my roommate and we watched CNN for at least an hour. From the celebration outside the White House to President Obama's speech, we saw it all. It's a great day for those across the globe who love peace, and a great day for the United States of America.
In an interesting twist of history, on May 1st, 1945, Germany announced that Hitler was dead. Hitler and Bin Laden; gone on the same day. While Hitler's life ended at his own hand, Bin Laden's ended with a Navy Seal bullet to the head. As we await what comes next, I'm sure each of you have your own story or knew someone who was greatly affected by 9/11. At this time, I'd like to thank my friends from school who served in our Armed Forces:
Brad - Army
Brandon - Army - heading to Afghanistan soon.
Christian - FBI
Darin - Army
Drew - Air Force
Jason - Army
Jimmy - Army - veteran of two Afghanistan tours.
Josh J. - Navy
Josh K. - Navy - who just learned he'll be flying F-18's soon. Congrats!
Justin - Army
Mike - Army
Nate - Army
Nick - Army
Rob - Army/Special Forces - Iraq veteran and purple heart recipient.
Terry - Army - Iraq veteran.
Ty - Coast Guard
Please, remember to give thanks to our troops if you see them! Also, and this by special request, my friend T-Byrd will be playing this in his 3rd grade class today.
God Bless our Troops and the United States of America - Bin Laden is dead!