With the death of Osama bin Laden, I had to fully explain what happened on 9/11 to our young daughter. Along with that explanation came a discussion of why, in some instances, the killing of a person is necessary. When I described the simultaneous attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, she readily grasped that 9/11 was an attack on our country, similar to what had happened at Pearl Harbor. (Travel really is educational, and Hawaii is not just about beaches, afterall.) And when I compared bin Laden to Adolph Hitler, she could understand why we were searching for him, and spending trillions of dollars in the process.
Ten years of searching is a long time. There must have been many times of frustration and defeat, but our country did not give up. God rest the souls that have died in the fight against terrorism, no matter where it has occurred, in Africa, Bali, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations. Those are the true heroes — those that we know about, as in our armed forces — and those that we don’t know about–the human losses we’ll probably never hear about in the intelligence community. Those heroes and the resolve of three administrations got us to this point.
But what might come next? A turning point in the war on terrorism? A horrific spike in the reprisals against America?
I can only wonder and pray that the direction goes favorably for our country and all the citizens of the world determined to root out terrorism. I am removed (I pray) from the fight. I can pray and educate youngsters and write encouraging words, but the fight is one that I support from a distance. My personal fights are so small, so insignificant, but part of the weave of society. I can fight to encourage my family and friends (and self) to do the right things, even when there is a cost. I can encourage education and hard work and charity and solid American values. And I can challenge myself to do those things in my life that appear to be impossible. But I can’t do it alone. Just as our heroes couldn’t do it alone. Whatever is before us, we can remember Mark 10:27, “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.'”
Blessings and kind regards to you all.