Tuesday, May 03, 2011

May 1st

May 1st will be remembered by many as the day Osama Bin Ladin was killed just as another generation remembers it as the day of Hitler's death. But a friend of mine will remember it as the day her mother died. Make that two friends.

For weeks I've been in touch with a friend I met on Twitter as she has cared for her dying mother, trying to offer some encouragement as I remember my own mother's long struggle before a chronic lung disease finally took her life. Late Sunday night my friend let me know that her mother had passed away. That same night I signed into Facebook and read that one of my old high school friends had lost her mother that day, too.

I watched all the news on TV about the death of Osama Bin Ladin and I thought about my two friends and I could not bring myself to celebrate death.

Anyone's death.

I thought about the Navy Seals who had trained for this mission and did the job they were sent to do. I understand why they did it and I have to say that I felt a sense of relief that this man would no longer be able to spread death far and wide and incite hatred throughout the world.

But I have no wish to join the ranks of those whose response to these events is to cheer as though they were at a high school football game.

Instead, I hope
    I will continue to do
        what I try to do
            every day.

Where there are differences,
    seek peace and understanding.

Where there is pain and emptiness,
    spread love.

Where there is despair,
    share hope for a better tomorrow.

And as God gives me opportunities,

    lead others to do the same.


  1. Poignant words guided by faith and common sense. Lovely piece filled with profundity. Thank you, Donna.

  2. I agree with the not celebrating.

    I feel for these people who have lost their mothers. I think I am more terrified for the day my mother will pass than of my own passing.

  3. Beautiful. So many people celebrated and I understand the initial reaction to do so but once you take a moment to think about, when do we ever celebrate someone's death? Much less their murder....

  4. Am I the only one who was bothered by the fact that we executed a man without a trial? I am not saying he was not guilty, but one of the things that distinguishes the US from other countries is that we do not execute anyone who has not first been convicted.

  5. You've summed up what I've been feeling far better than I ever could, Donna. Thank you for that.

  6. I guess I'll be the one to say he's dead, and I'm glad. There are all degrees of celebrating. Could my phone calls to friends and loved ones telling them of the news be considered celebrating? Perhaps.

    Young people took to the streets on Sunday night because half their lives (ten years) they have been marketed a boogie man brand by fear mongering politicians. Just as with Rambo movies to Disney cartoons, kids are taught to celebrate the demise of the "bad guy" and that's exactly what they did. But when you think of it they were acting on precedent; we as Americans have been doing this for decades. VE Day in Times Square celebrated the victory over Europe and the suicide of Hitler. VJ Day in Times Square celebrated the dropping of two atomic bombs that killed tens of thousands and wounded hundreds of thousands...of innocents.

    Though I love the sanctity of human life, I, too, am human with human feelings. As my mother languished from cancer into a hull of a spiritless body, I celebrated her death, too. She deserved as much.

    Donna, you know I respect your thoughts and feelings as always, this time, my take is just a little different. But I guess you know that about me. LOL


  7. That's OK, my friend, and I understand. My reaction was colored by my friends' losses and thoughts of my own mother's death. I am glad he was caught and relieved to know he's dead. I do understand why people felt like celebrating, but for me it was a day with too much death and I couldn't join in.

  8. Thank you for your comments. The other night when the news came I was getting ready for work and didn't really see any news until I came into work and the news was on. Actually the first indication I had of Osama's death was via Twitter, which I saw on my phone coming into work.

    What I remember of 9/11 was the thousands of people that were killed and the many family and friends who probably finally have a small sense of closure for a man who's very planning had resulted in their suffering. So much has come and gone but the need for vengeance or justice, or whatever, needed to happen.

    So now we still need to remain vigilant that his death won't spawn future attacks and that countries will be able to better prepare.