Few Americans can forget where they were when they heard about the attacks of 9/11. New Yorkers fled Manhattan while the rest of the nation watched in horror on television. For many husbands and wives, it meant that their loved ones were lost in the wreckage. For all Americans, no matter how far from the World Trade Center, it was a defining moment in our lives, not only as a nation, but as individuals.
The American response to the death of Osama bin Laden was mixed. While some took the the streets in joyous celebration, others hoped that their love ones could now return from Afghanistan. Most were relieved, but many weren’t comfortable with the public celebrations that broke out, feeling that celebrating death is not a part of our national DNA. While I took part in the conversation through Twitter, many took their thoughts to the blogs, including Paul Raushenbush, who shared the emotion contrast, saying, “It is a strange and conflicting emotion to celebrate a death. My professed beliefs include the redemption of evil and the potential good in all humanity. Yet I felt a sense of exhilaration when I read the headline ‘DEAD’ about Osama bin Laden.”