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Voices of MainStreet: April Lee

The Mess Hereafter
May 10, 2011

It took a few days before I could process my reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death. Ten years later and I feel so removed. Correction: I felt removed until Monday morning when I saw the reactions of my fellow Americans.

I'm certainly not the first to be upset with the callous celebrations. Many Americans quoted Martin Luther King Jr.’s words about not combating hate with hate, but it is very hard to not hate a man who spearheaded the attacks of September 11th. Friends and families alike were affected by his actions, and they have every right to find some happiness in his death, I think.

But still, I don’t feel safer. You see, it’s about that idea of “justice.” Truthfully, there is no justice for what someone else has done to you. An eye for an eye isn’t possible without the other person deemed as deserving “justice” being involved. So as much as millions of people would like to think that we could not have made Osama bin Laden feel any remorse or shame for what he did, we cannot make him feel our wrath as he is dead. I can’t imagine that anyone who went as far as he did would ever feel guilt, anyway, especially from something that had clearly made him proud.

Despite all that, though, no matter what you think of the War on Terror, of American activity, or of the stories of politicians behind the curtains, Bin Laden's death will not prevent further wrongdoings against being made against the American people. Because at the heart of the matter, what is the drive of the beating heart, is the right to live and survive. It is about respect for another human life, no matter what we may think of their ideas about living. Once that is threatened, once my right to live my life the way I want to is threatened, I have a right to self-preservation. And so does my enemy.

Indeed, it is a messy, messy world.

—April is a well-traveled young woman planting her roots in sunny Seattle, or well, just Seattle. Her writing covers whatever piques her interest and curiousity. Check out her blog here.

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