Last night Twitter proved its value in that the news about Osama Bin Laden, was out long before the president and the news media said a word. The realization of what transpired was for me a numbing experience. See I was in New York on 9/11 because that was were I lived at the time and resided for approx 30+ years. Nestled in a neighborhood, known as Bushwick, which is not perhaps so well known as Williamsburg, or Brooklyn Heights, close enough in proximity to witness something that I will probably never forget as long as I live.
I could see the towers from my bedroom window. Just a couple of stops on the subway from Manhattan, via the Williamsburg Bridge – the Manhattan skyline view was a daily visual that etched into the mind like the location of the bedroom light switch in the dark. So to get up and go look out the window and see….billowing clouds of smoke…pouring out of the tower…just was wrong somehow. It was like a bad visual eye trick thing. Even when the television started broadcasting endless loops of the plane crashing into the towers…..didn’t register. It was totally surreal. In the days that followed the entire situation was surreal and I think most of us New Yorkers were walking around in a state of shock.
I, like most New Yorkers spent a lot of time in and around the area of the World Trade Center. I actually at that time worked not too far from the area, walking distance. I happened not to be at work that day but returning to the area later on when it was opened up was again unreal. The television cannot convey the scope of what happened in that you cannot “see” how big of an area was affected on tv, it doesn’t give you proper perspective. Traveling around lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights(which is directly across from the area), you are struck with a sense of a big “something” that is missing and it just doesn’t look right. I don’t suppose it ever will for those of us accustomed to looking up and seeing the towers.
This past weekend’s events that led to the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden have been for me bittersweet. While on the one hand it allows for closure and a sense of things being finally wrapped up, the reactions exhibited by some individuals upon hearing the news has been greatly disturbing. Don’t get me, I am no fan of Osama, however as a Christian, and a human being, it is hard to accept the images of the “celebrations” that flooded the news channels immediately after the announcement that Osama had been found and killed. It is even harder still to understand the sentiments expressed by many, wishing to see photos of his dead body as “Proof”.
As a New Yorker who was deeply and profoundly affected by the events of 9/11 and subsequent terrorist activity that targeted the New York City Area, I feel pretty strongly about letting this situation go and not doing anything further that could very possibly incite another terrorist act against American citizens. I wonder at those calling for the images – are they going to take responsibility if doing so leads to another attack on Americans. Will they offer up apologies to the families and the world in general.
There is nothing at all to be gained by releasing the photos and a great deal more to be lost. Those who do not believe now, will not necessarily be any more convinced by seeing photographic “evidence”. The descent into what can only be perceived as “barbarism” and “mob rule” is disheartening. Instead of focusing on now, bringing the troops back home and renewing efforts to resolve the job crisis here, valuable time and energy is being expended on something that is done – perhaps not the way a select few would like, but done nonetheless.
As has been said many times in quite different circumstances, it is time to move on, and let go the hatred and animosity – It is Finished….