© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Osama Bin Found

While the attacks on 9-11 polarized a nation, the recent assignation of the alleged mastermind seems to have elicited the opposite effect.

I can say with one hundred percent certainty that had I been in Washington, DC on the Sunday evening that his death was announced, you would not have seen me celebrating along Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House. I understand why some people did, but as I watched the coverage the next morning, it reminded me a lot of the propagandic footage that we sometimes see from people in other, anti-American countries celebrating the death or destruction of someone or something that we in the West hold dear.

That afternoon, I shared this view with a coworker in a crowded hotel lobby, she looked at me and nodded her head in agreement. “I’m totally with you. If the action itself wasn’t enough, I’m afraid that our reaction to it is going to inspire them to retaliate.” With a wry smile and pitchy comedic tone, she continued, “Watch your backs people!”

Going through security at the airport the next morning, the gentleman in front of me bent over to remove his loafers. I happened to be crouched down untying my shoes and our glances met on the way back up. He smiled and said, “Now that he’s gone, hopefully they’ll start letting us keep our clothes on again.”

As I sat in the pleather seats of Orlando International waiting for my flight to arrive, I killed time by browsing through a handful of the trending topics on Twitter. The polarization continued as some tweets boasted with pro-American pride, while others debated the fact that this is one more example of violence leading to violence.

Politics and opinions aside, my favorite tweet came from some dude who wrote… Osama Bin Laden – 2001 to 2011 – World Hide-and-Go-Seek Champion.

I think that’s something we can all agree on.

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