I remember 9/11 very well. I remember the flags that were nailed the day after 9/11, to the big new business complex under construction near my house. I remember the strangely quiet skies.
I remember the flag ribbon magnets that materialized on every car and truck and I was gratified then to see people still cared about their country.
Toby Keith sang "as soon as we could see out of our big black eye, we lit up your skies like the Fourth of July" and we waited eagerly as Bush the second sent volunteer army troops to the Middle East to "find Osama".
But the majority of troops landed in Iraq, though we all knew Osama wasn't there. After a few billion dollars and hundreds of young lives, we began to ask "Why is Osama still alive"?
Now he is officially dead. Why am I not elated?
After 9/11 the economy tanked. I lost my job, like so many other Americans. Of course we blamed the "Mastermind". But we were the ones who had to take our shoes off before we could get on an airplane.
The government targeted the citizens of these United States with the Patriot Act. Osama bin Laden still lived somewhere in the Middle East. The majority of our volunteer army troops were directed to take out a dictator our government had propped up and then wearied of, not Osama bin Laden.
"Enemy combatants" who could be anyone, anywhere, were detained (another word for kidnapped) by our government and held without trial or due process. All Americans were frisked before they could enter major sport events, and our communications were recorded and spied upon by the government. Yet Osama bin Laden lived.
When the economic bubbles created to survive the war on Iraq burst, as bubbles inevitably do, the government engaged in the most aggressive attack on Americans yet - they destroyed our wealth and our childrens' wealth through the great bailout con of 2008. Quantitative easing plunged us into depression and opened the door for an unprecedented power grab - socialized healthcare. Our freedom to be self-determinant individuals and assume the responsibilities the Creator gave us to provide care for ourselves and our families was destroyed, while Osama bin Laden lived, well, somewhere. Trillions of dollars and a hundred thousand volunteer army troops weren't real sure where.
The people that leaped from the high floors of the World Trade Center towers, the brave souls on Flight 93 that cried "Let's Roll!", could have had no clue that their deaths were going to ignite the War on Freedom for those who survived.
Ten years later, when I heard that Osama bin Laden had been officially killed, I wondered "where is my joy?" On this long awaited day, his victims had not been avenged. The great General Stark explained why over 200 years ago.
"Live Free or Die, Death is Not the Worst of Evils."
There is an evil greater than Osama bin Laden, and it is very much alive.