I will not cry.
I will not shed a single tear.
I will not mourn the father of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden.
But I refuse to celebrate his death.
It disheartens me that many in our society have become so insensitive to the gravity of our actions, insensitive to what it means to assassinate or kill.
I do not question the necessity of removing terroristic threats, only our reaction to the violence.
Perhaps television, movies and games have made killing and death so commonplace and easy we forget these are fantasy. Perhaps it is difficult to grasp reality when the event was so distant from us in both space and understanding. Perhaps we are so set on vengeance that we forget our moral values.
The fact we were able to remove a target with minimal collateral damage is something to celebrate. Fulfilling a military mission without losing troops is something to celebrate.
Not harming the children residing within the compound is something to celebrate.
Service men being deployed on dangerous missions is not something to celebrate.
Soldiers having to psychologically deal with the fact they took another’s life is not something to celebrate. Carrying out the death of another human is not something to celebrate.
The pain of the survivors from losing a loved one is not something to celebrate.
One thing we must remember is most Muslin extremists fight for what they believe is their religious obligation. It is their duty to spread and defend Islam as well as fight injustice and oppression. It is much easier to sit in our cushy home or office and pass judgment on their thinking and way of life.
These militant groups offer young men the opportunity for education and escape from the hardships of living under oppressive governments in the impoverished rural communities scattered throughout what we would deem uninhabitable terrain.
Perhaps if there was more education and opportunity in these areas there would be less violence or at least less temptation to join these groups.
Osama bin Laden is responsible for the deaths of thousands, including people of his own faith. His organization is a threat to all but those who choose to join him.
Peace in the Middle East will not be possible so long as al-Qaeda is actively pursuing jihad.
The U.S. government has taken a stand against this threat not only for the protection of our country but for those who are not able to defend themselves.
It is our obligation to respond to this threat, but we should not be so callous as to relish in what we have to do.
Osama bin Laden was a threat that needed to be eliminated.
But I find no joy in killing.
(Mary Hoisington is the publisher of the Great Bend Tribune. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.)