There are some events that stay with a person for the rest of their life – moments where a person says “I remember where I was when that happened.” There have been several of these events in my lifetime. Sure, I remember some things about John Lennon’s death and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. I definitely remember where I was when the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia exploded, and when the First Gulf War started.
Perhaps the one event in recent memory that has affected me most though is the attacks of September 11, 2001. I still can’t watch news footage from that day or hear the recollection of those directly affected without choking up. There are many things that occur daily in the United States of America but nothing like what happened that day. That event changed the life of a lot of people. As we approached the 10th anniversary of the attacks, I still thought of where I was on that day. Usually, random thoughts will pop in to my head when I see an airplane overhead or walk in to an airport.
Yesterday, at ~22:30 CDT (-0600 GMT), President Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, the man who was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. The first feeling I had was excitement that “we” had caught our man. As I heard the President’s words, I could only nod my head in agreement when I heard him say “On nights like this one, we can say to those families who lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: justice has been done.” When he said “A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body,” I was thankful that no American’s died on the mission.
While watching his live address, I watched my Twitter stream to see what people were saying. Some were very amusing like:
There were some that were insightful:
And lastly, there were some that reflected what I was feeling as I saw people celebrating:
Another day has passed. I will always remember where I was when this happened.