OK. I wasn’t going to opine today on the fact that Osama bin Laden is now sleeping with the fishes. I missed the announcement last night by the Prez, and the reports via by BlackBerry and websites pointed to a major story and certainly one that every other pundit would be warbling about in dead tree publications and online.
So as I took to the keyboard at around 4 a.m. I finished a really trivial post about Pippa — “Her Royal Hotness” — and made my way to the gym to chase the treadmill for an hour and watch TV.
And wow. On every screen — from every cable network — came pictures of celebrations in New York, Washington, Columbus at Ohio State and elsewhere. And mostly it was young people singing the national anthem, wrapping themselves in the American flag, shouting U.S.A., U.S.A.
I’m not sure killing bin Laden brings closure to 9/11. That strikes me as a personal decision on the part of the families who lost friends and loved ones on that day. And for the families — and members of the military — who have sacrificed so much during the past decade as we have slogged it out in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I go to D.C. every few months on business. And on the return flight from Reagan National to Cleveland the gate attendant offers members of the military the option of boarding the flight first. And on several occasions, immediately following that announcement, the other passengers stood and cheered.
We’re cheering now not just for the death of the terrorist bin Laden. Although that is reason enough. But we’re cheering for the members of our military who take great risks to keep us safe and to make sure that the bad guys can run, but ultimately they can’t hide. And we’re cheering for a country that still believes in freedom — and isn’t afraid to make some tough calls to make sure that others don’t forget that fact.
And I know this country has big problems. But we still manage to get things right most of the time.
And when I see streets full of young people chanting U.S.A. and waving the American flag — and there is no football game involved — then all of us can rest easy. We’re going to be OK.