Dear FUTURE Great and Great-Great Grandchildren,
Yesterday was one of those historic dates that you may read about
in your history books in your online history class. You will interact with the text and learn that on May 1, 2011, nearly 10 years after September 11, 2001, the evil genius behind the Alqaeda attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City was FINALLY hunted down and killed.
At first, as silly as this may seem, I felt like the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz who sang, “Ding dong! the witch is dead; the witch old witch, the witch old witch. Ding dong! the wicked witch is dead.” But then I stopped myself. Like many Americans, I realized that it isn’t right to be excited over any person’s death – wicked as they may be.
In that distant day, you may not access the hologram that could show the celebrating crowd of 2000 or more cheering in front of the White House from where President Barak Obama made the late evening announcement. But you may stumble onto an ancient CNN story that tells about those who went to Ground Zero – former home of the Twin Towers – to honor the 3000 plus who died there, and you may hear a recording of the crowd’s rendition of “I’m Proud to be an American.” While many are excited that the tyrant is dead, I hope what we are truly celebrating is the death of what bin Laden symbolized.
Throughout that evening, your great granny here watched those same stories as they unfolded on television (which, to you, may be an obsolete piece of technology), and they reminded me of photos I had seen of the ending of World War II. I wondered as I watched if this was as big event as VJ Day was back in 1945. Or was it as monumental as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 that signaled the end of Cold War? Most importantly, I asked myself, “Is bin Laden’s demise the “beginning of the end of the ‘war on terror?'”
In the coming day, weeks, months, and years, I will learn the answer to that question, and I hope it is a resounding YES. Most politicians and analysts really don’t think so. But I hope they are wrong.
Years from now, when you study this historical event, I HOPE you are curious about the bearded man and wonder how his malevolent influence faded so fast from the face of the world.
I PRAY in that day that you ask yourself how such a one could have misinterpreted the beautiful teachings of the Koran in a way that directed hundreds of Muslims into extremist paths of deep hatred and vast destruction.
I DREAM that when you learn the details, such despicable human beings and appalling events will elude your understanding because YOUR world is one where Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindi, Buddhists and many other peoples and faiths co-mingle in peace.
I know yesterday’s event may not bring about the desires of my heart and my prayers for you, but I want you to understand that I have faith that one day our world will know the peace we dream of. It may not happen in my lifetime or yours, but it will happen, my darlings.
I love you.