Monday, May 2, 2011


The older we get, the more we will have opportunity to remember exactly where we were and what we were doing at the moment of events that had global impact. Some still remember when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Many of us remember the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. We remember what we were doing at the death of Elvis and John Lennon. And more recently, we remember all too painfully our activity on September 11, 2001.

We will now remember where we were when we first heard the news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

Many will say that justice has been served. Others will breath a sigh of relief, even while they admit that the ideology which breeds terrorism is still alive and well. Still others will say "good riddance" at the death of this murderer and human disgrace.

There will also be some who will say that this act brings closure. That statement is being challenged, especially by those who have felt the seering pain most directly. I watched the interview of a woman who lost her sister in the collapse of the world trade center. She pled for folk to speak of justice if they like, but to please refrain from using the word closure. For her and for thousands of others, the chapter will not be complete; that door in their life will not now slowly close. There will still be an empty chair at the next family gathering.

Yes, people move on. Even though the wound may remain open, it will, in time, experience some kind of healing. But a terrible scar will always remain. Whether it be the execution of someone who, in one murderous act, took someone away from the family table or the assassination of an evil, self-righteous terrorist, there is still no closure.

The seat at the table is still empty.

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