Monday, May 02, 2011

I'll probably stick my foot in my mouth...

I got in the car this morning, and turned on News Talk like I always do.  (It's either that or NPR, depending on my mood.  Sometimes I prefer silence - so the radio stays off and I can then focus on the rattles of my car; or my brain.)  Almost immediately after turning the radio on, I heard the fill-in voice behind the microphone tell me that Osama bin Laden is dead.  Cause for celebration.  People gathering all over the country to say "Yay, America!"  Still others gathered to protest, of course, because what would we be if we weren't allowed to speak our minds, right?

I don't know much about anything - but I'm getting ready to speak my mind.  I don't expect anyone to agree with me.  What follows is not the product of a highly-educated brain, nor one that follows politics closely, and is often guilty of being woefully behind-the-times on current World events.  I'll probably stick my foot in my mouth quite often, and quite well.  But maybe not well enough to shut me up.

So back to Osama bin Laden.  A Seal Team went in to an area and raided a bunker, executing bin Laden while they were at it.  I don't know if there was anyone else there, but I'd be willing to bet more than bin Laden's life was lost during that raid.  Then there were documents and other things that need to be sifted through and maybe brought back for analysis by keen military minds to determine if who, if anyone, needs to follow bin Laden to wherever his black soul went.  I think I even heard "them" say that "they" brought bin Laden's body with them as they exited, stage-left.

Now that you have my very uneducated and unprofessional synopsis of this major World event...

Why is it cause to celebrate someone's death - even someone like bin Laden?  Yes.  OK.  Yay!  They got him.  Woo!  The War on Terror actually accomplished something and all of our military men and women are not and have not sacrificed themselves for our country for nothing.  Isn't that what this has been all about?

I'm not military.  But I understand what sacrifice is.  People sacrifice themselves for the greater good - whatever that "good" may be - on a daily basis.  Mother's make sacrifices for their children and their families.  I can attest to this on a first-hand basis.  Father's make sacrifices so their families can have a roof over their heads and food on the table.  And it's not gender-specific anymore - but you get the picture.  Many extraordinary men and women of this country - YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN - sacrifice themselves for this country you live in every single day.  God sacrificed his only son for us!

And still, within all that, we celebrate death?  These people who sacrifice themselves are celebrating a death?  I'll say it again - I'm not that smart about these things.  It makes me think of a line from Forrest Gump: "I'm not a smart man, Jenny - but I know what love is."  So I am not a smart woman, folks, but I know how I feel when I hear about a celebration when someone dies.  Even a bad someone like bin Laden.  And for that matter, who am I to judge?

I attended a memorial service this weekend for a friend.  A good man.  A young man.  A father of 3 beautiful little girls; 10 years old and 5 year old twins.  It was a sudden, and unfortunate death and his family is going to have a lot of pieces to pick up.  A lot of healing to do.  And, I'm sure, may questions to ask.  I haven't electively gone to a funeral - ever.  I have been to too many out of obligation, or familial relations.  Entirely too many.  More than I ever would want to count.  And some that I SHOULD have gone to I couldn't due to distance or some other obligation.  The plain truth is I really dislike funerals.  I want to remember the person whose LIFE we're celebrating or memorializing the way I want to remember that person.

I guess my point is that, though bin Laden's life was not necessarily one to celebrate, neither do I think that his death should be celebrated.  Yes - we've made some progress and this may be exactly what we need to be able to move forward, end this war, and get out of Dodge...  But still, bin Laden was one of God's creatures.  He's got a lot of explaining to do, don't you think?


I'm sorry - I've read back over this and I know it's disjointed and probably doesn't really make any sense - but I'm not going to change it.  Think of it as Jen's Train of Thought.  It's probably not a good idea to try to make any sense out of what comes out of my head anyway - it will just confuse you.  But thanks for reading it.  And thanks for not raking me over the coals.


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