People blew horns and set off fireworks to celebrate Osama bin Laden’s assassination, which came as a result of an operation carried out by the United States Navy SEALs on May 1.
The significance of this achievement is great, but the revelry should extend to celebrations beyond the death of an enemy. Bin Ladens’ death signifies a huge loss for al-Qaida and the Taliban and as a huge victory for the United States. But we as scholarly individuals in an academic discourse community must keep in mind that celebrations need focus more on political, sociological, and emotional impacts of his death brings about than on his death itself.
Bin Laden’s death is not an excuse for violent and morbid celebration. Naturally social networking websites drove the spread of information, but websites such as Facebook and Twiter should not serve as catalysts of barbaric reactions to the assassination.
Patriotism was mixed with morbidity on the Internet as Americans let their passions exceed their compassion and cloud their forethought. We should focus on the success of our troops and what bin Laden’s death signifies when it comes to the bigger picture and the future of the United States. But we believe that celebrating death itself morbidly misses the point.
President Barack Obama addressed the nation saying, “we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.”
That pursuit of justice opened the door for some of the families affected by the Sept. 11 tragedy to potentially gain a sense of peace and closure, while others are making tally marks on a virtual scoreboard.
If you choose to celebrate, make sure you express your patriotism and support our troops in a manner that advances the political and social conversations that have cropped up because of Bin Laden’s death.
-The Review Editorial Board