Monday, May 2, 2011

A Child's Perspective on Killing Osama Bin Laden

Last night while trying to keep myself awake during the commercials of a show I was watching, I was thinking about my Monday a.m. posts.

I had many ideas.

John Updike's take on May. My May planner. A couple of great new recipes.

Those were some of the ideas circulating. But, then, I thought, I'll share a photo or two (and some words, no doubt) of my daughter who turned 2.

But, then IT happened. IT --THAT breaking news that interrupted my show watching and my blog plans. (Yes, shallow, I know.)

Osama Bin Laden, the enemy that has been sought for nearly a decade, was found. And, killed. Yes, killed.

All over Facebook, Twitter, the Internet and TV, people cheered.

Not me.

It's not that I'm not pleased to have found the man who caused this nation - and so many individuals and families so much grief. I am. I really am.

But, something didn't (doesn't) feel right about the whole thing.

I've really never been a believer of "an eye for an eye". Maybe it's all those years of my parents telling me to always take the high road. Maybe it's something more.

Still, I'm glad that "we" found him. And, now maybe some will feel closure and we can move towards peace. Please.

So many people have died. So many lives have been disrupted and/or destroyed. So much hate has brewed. So many lives have been redefined. 

I decided that I should proactively discuss this big happening with my daughter. Surely, it might come up at school - if not in social studies, surely in elementary school discussions on the playground. I was not anxious to have this discussion - but I did know that my daughter needed to hear it from me and to be able to get answers for me.

Ha. Answers? Like I have the answers. But, surely, my answers are better than some of the answers she might get from others?

So, I told her.

I was pretty frank. I told her about the tragedy of 9/11. I told her about Osama Bin Laden-- and his role in the events of 9/11. I told her that our country has spent nearly a decade looking for this man. (Ten years looking for someone? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds, particularly to a seven year old?) And, I told her that "we" killed this man.

There was silence. But, really only a moment of silence. And, then, she looked at me and said completely matter-of-fact, "Killed him? That doesn't seem right! We were mad at him for killing people and then we killed him? That doesn't seem right at all."

Oh my dear little girl. You SO get it. You always, always do.


  1. I concur with you and your daughter...hard to cheer the death of one, no matter how heinous a person. Heard a quote today from Mark Twain that said something like...I do not cheer the death of any man but that doesn't mean that I do not smile when I read certain obituaries....seems fitting

  2. excellent post, we too agree over here at our house and explaining it to the kiddos was tough.