CNN correspondent Ali Velshi got jostled by the fist-pumping, flag-waving crowd at Ground Zero and there I was, barely able to muster a "what does it mean?" à la Double Rainbow Guy. What good is astonishment without celebration? What good is a double rainbow without the interpretation of a stoned, rotund hippie? I felt cheated.
Revelry was rampant. In front of the White House, at baseball games and through the streets of Waikiki. Meanwhile, I channel surfed. I wanted a glimpse of folks like me—not unpatriotic, but in quiet reflection. So when Velshi reported there were some who made the Ground Zero pilgrimage with photos in hand to kneel and pray in solitude, then didn't produce, I was cheated once again.
Or maybe, like me, they wanted to be left alone to sort through the horrific memory of 9-11 and come to some sort of acceptance that a body slipping quietly into the Arabian Sea was as much closure as could be hoped for—justice without joy.
So when NPR asked, "Is It Wrong to Celebrate Bin Laden's Death?" I was more than peeved. The last thing I need right now is moral preaching from the Left, the Right, or anyone in between about how I should deal with bin Laden's death. According to University at Buffalo minister Mike Hayes,
"We are called to forgiveness. And that is the only way that we can be truly free. Holding onto our hatred keeps us in slavery to bin Laden's madness and gives the terrorists continued power over us."
I am sorry, Mr. Hayes. I respect your path toward acceptance, but I am not consumed by hatred because I choose not to forgive bin Laden. Some acts are unforgivable.