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Celebrate America

John P. Hough | Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On Sunday night, most of the student body reacted positively to the successful assassination attempt of Osama Bin Laden. Many rallied, celebrating the demise of America’s greatest enemy. Hundreds sang patriotic songs well after midnight and fireworks decorated the sky on Stepan Fields.

But, on Monday, some expressed doubt whether it was right to celebrate anyone’s murder, even of someone as evil as bin Laden. After all, Jesus said, “Love thy enemies.” Can we justifiably glorify a man’s murder? The short answer is no.

But, the real answer is that none of us were celebrating the death of one man. We were glorifying something much greater and more important than any individual.

I’m from New York and I remember 9/11 too clearly. I remember the pain the attacks caused friends and family and I remember the fear that permeated throughout the community thereafter. All New Yorkers, even total strangers, came together. Tragedy made us remember what was truly important.

Of course, the rest of the country embraced and supported the people of New York. A sense of patriotism swept throughout the USA and soon President Bush declared a war on terrorism that still continues. The war began with a promise to the terrorists that they couldn’t get away with attacking the world’s greatest country without facing justice.

To that effect, America has been successful. To say the least, Iraq’s dictator has been deposed and there have been no large scale attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11.

But, September 11’s mastermind still lived. Bin Laden still enjoyed life years after he ordered the killing of thousands of innocents. The man who caused so much suffering and who empowered the world’s deadliest terrorist force had not been silenced.

On Sunday, the U.S. showed the terrorists they could not attack our great nation and then hide safely in the Middle East. On Sunday, al-Qaida experienced a serious blow. On Sunday, we made good on that promise. Essentially, we weren’t celebrating a murder. We were celebrating the victory of justice over evil.

We were celebrating America.

John P. Hough


off campus

May 3