I was not dancing in the streets when I heard that Osama Bin Laden had been killed but my mind raced back to the streets I walked on September 11th, 2001. On that day I walked out of PS 116 in Manhattan with several co-workers. The nasty smell in the air caused us to take a detour into a paint store to buy some masks to wear to protect our lungs from who knew what. I thought back to the co-worker I barely knew turning to me in tears and crying against my chest as we watched the first tower fall together. I thought back to the people I met as I walked south toward the Brooklyn Bridge who were covered in white dust. I remembered that beautiful, pure blue sky with a seam of grey smoke that ripped through the air. It's an easy trip back in time to the afternoon sun against a hastily raised stars and stripes over a vacant lot in Brooklyn. I can feel the warm handshake of the man who owned the middle eastern restaurant under the apartment when I lived, inviting me in to share food with others from the neighborhood. I can still see the thousands of pictures posted in Union Square, the candles and makeshift alters.
Ten years later, I'm still walking those streets. The news still sings the song of death. And now that the mastermind of killing is dead, who has come back? I wanted no revenge. I've read several articles that all said "It's only human to want revenge" so what does that make me? Is this justice? I think perhaps it is. It's the justice that Bin Laden created for himself. In my opinion he embraced and celebrated the world of hatred, death and destruction and he followed the trail to it's logical end. He lived by the sword and perished by the sword. If there is something good to be gained from his death beyond his inability to spread hatred any longer it might be a warning to others who would tread the path of hatred and death, no matter what their ideology, to reject the gospel of hate.