Reaction or Response?

On Sunday night when normal programming was interrupted to await an important announcement from the president I was annoyed.  I am not typically interested in important announcements since they generally don’t seem all that important to me.  However, in this particular case it turned out I was interested.

Bin Laden had been captured and killed.  Color me stunned.  Putting aside all the politicizing and chest thumping by the media and others, I found myself reeling a bit.  Shock, yes. Stunned, yes. Happy? I don’t know.

I immediately went to Drudge to see if I could get any actual information since the newscast likened more of a lovefest for the White House than real information.  Drudge didn’t have a lot but he had some. I read quickly as though if I took my time the information would vanish and I would discover it was not real. I tweeted, facebooked and posted a quick post. I wanted people to know right now, as if hesitating would make the knowledge untrue.  Apparently others had the same idea – as I read somewhere that people were tweeting at the rate of 3,000 per three seconds. Yes, you read that right.

What I found especially notable for me at least were my feelings the next day -yesterday.  First thing, I hit the news sites and tried to learn what I could of what had happened. I spent the entire day listening to talk radio – again hungry for information – maybe even a little proof.  The thing that was odd for me was that rather than feeling celebratory I felt weepy. As though this end of a long vigil were not a happy moment but a sad one. Because it brought back the day that started it all. Brought back the helpless feelings of watching fellow Americans being killed.  Brought back the subsequent days of endless searches among the rubble.  Brought back the beginning of the change of the American way of life.

I cried a lot. I felt angry a lot. Yes, it was a good day for America because justice had been served – but I also knew it was not the end – just the end of one mission.  Not to lessen the significance of that action, nor the bravery and expertise it took for our amazing special forces to bring it about – I never could or would do such a thing.  Those dudes are in a phrase, fucking awesome.

We are not out of the dark days yet.  But I feel a little more certain that someday we will be.  I pray that I’m right about that.

But I’m wondering about others – how did you feel when you heard the news? Did you celebrate?  Did you cry? Did you do something else? Did you react or respond? I think I did both, how about you?

copyright 2011