Sept. 11, 2001 — A day that is etched in the minds of every American.
A tragic day that almost 10 years ago changed this country in so many ways.
But on May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 Americans, was killed by United States forces at a mansion in Pakistan.
“The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda,” Obama said in a prepared statement late Sunday night. “Justice has been done.”
Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, was also responsible for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings that killed hundreds in Kenya and Tanzania and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 people and injured others.
The hatred American people have toward bin Laden has been compared to the disgust most held toward Adolf Hitler during World War II and The Holocaust.
I can’t imagine how the world reacted when Hitler committed suicide in 1945, but when I read the then unconfirmed news about bin Laden on Twitter around 10 p.m. on Sunday night, I was shocked.
Minutes later as I heard CNN’s John King say the words “Osama bin Laden is dead,” chills ran through my body and I jumped up out of my chair and cheered.
It seems like most Americans had similar reactions.
Crowds quickly formed at the White House and Ground Zero and Americans proudly waved U.S. flags and cheered “U-S-A, U-S-A!” with great pride.
I wonder if Americans will dust off those U.S. car flags and patriotic t-shirts that were ever-so popular several years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Will the killing of bin Laden bring together a country divided over political and social issues?
“It is a bit weird, eerie, that this happened eight years to the day of Bush's mission accomplished banner," he wrote.
Was it not just eight years ago that Former President George W. Bush announced the “end of major combat operations” in Iraq?
The war against Al Qaeda was far from over after Bush’s statement, and only time will tell what bin Laden’s death means for Al Qaeda.
“His death does not mark the end of our effort,” Obama said Sunday night. “We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
But in a time when Americans truly need something to celebrate, the death of the man who has been the face of terrorist attacks against the United States for the past 13 years gives Americans a reason to rejoice.
"His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity," Obama said.
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind, but the killing of Osama bin Laden means more than just the death of one man — this is now a time of catharsis for those of us who watched the towers fall with chills ten years ago.
In my opinion, American author Mark Twain said it best: “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”