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Month now has gone by since killing of bin Laden
Wednesday, June 1, probably came and went for a majority of you without a mere thought of what had occurred, but it will be fine if you think about the event today.
The U.S. Navy SEALs’ fatal shooting of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden on May 1 sent global shock waves. The orchestrator of the dastardly 9-11 attacks on our country’s people and values was dead and ceremoniously given a speedy burial at sea.
Now it has been one solid month.
So has anything changed on our native soil since the removal of the al-Qaida leader?
The quick response to that question is “No,” but I will indulge you a little more.
When my spouse mentioned to me in the wee hours of May 2 that bin Laden had been killed, my initial response was “Show me the body.” Remember our nation had waited 10 years for justice to be served on bin Laden. Ask someone in New York or Pennsylvania how long it has been and they can most likely reply with the total number of days and some even down to the minutes.
None of us can simply wipe away those Sept. 11, 2001, images with a mental eraser. That horrific moment in time is etched on our brains forever.
But seemingly the end of life for the world’s most wanted terrorist courtesy of the sharpshooters’ bullets has practically become an afterthought.
Oh yes, within days of bin Laden’s last breath a Delta airline pilot ordered two Muslim religious leaders off a Memphis flight because the pilot refused to fly with them on board.
Then there was the story of a Georgia judge who refused to allow a practicing Muslim to wear a cap known as a kufi in the courthouse even though his lawyer said it is religious apparel. The judge would reverse his decision days later.
And then the public’s heightened concerns about a possible attempt to avenge bin Laden’s demise died down to virtually nil.
On April 28, I was among those in attendance at the annual Sylvania Rotary Club dinner that announced this year’s local “Citizen of the Year” as Sylvania Mayor Margaret Evans. The guest speaker that evening for the Shrine Club event was Van McCall, who hails from the tiny Georgia town of Denton.
McCall, a chief lending officer with AgSouth Farm Credit, concluded his talk with a remembrance to the heroes and victims of 9-11. No one in the room, himself included, knew what would occur just three days later.
With his presentation so poignant, I contacted McCall after bin Laden’s death and was impressed with his insight.
“History will record Sept. 11, 2001, as the day that America, a sleeping giant, was awakened from her slumber of spiritual and patriotic complacency,” McCall said. “She wiped the dust of disaster from her eyes and now stands in the face of her enemies more unified and determined than ever.
McCall said, as a citizen of this great nation, he firmly stands behind President Obama and the military action to kill bin Laden.
“I believe we, as Americans, are sending a clear message to the world that when our enemies awakened this sleeping giant on 9-11-2001 that they as well awakened their worst nightmare,” McCall said. “This nation is living up to her heritage of ‘Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.’ She is showing her colors of national patriotism are truly colors that do not retreat.”
He said the foundation principle upon which this nation was built is “In God We Trust.”
“As we trust God we rediscover God’s main message – LOVE. Love is the power that binds us Americans together with cords that our enemies cannot break,” McCall said. “The God we trust is a God not of hate, as we observe in other places in the world, but a God of love. Our message to the world is not one of celebration of the death of Osama bin Laden, but one of honoring the courage of the brave men and women of our military that paid the price necessary to preserve our freedom and to defend our homeland.
“The continued path of freedom of this great United States of America will be preserved by closing this chapter of Osama bin Laden and remembering the following -- Where we have been as a nation we can never revisit; where we are as a nation is a product of where we have been,” he said. “We cannot change these two facts, but where we go as a nation will be determined by what God-given wisdom we have learned along our journey. God bless the United States of America.”
Well said Mr. McCall. Very well said.
Citizens, be ever so mindful that our serenity can be abruptly destroyed within seconds by a terroristic attack.
Flag Day is June 14. Independence Day is July 4. The remembrance observance for the vengeful attacks on the Twin Towers will be Sept. 11. These dates are notched on the calendar as documentations of patriotism for Americans, but any day can be targeted on our native soil or around the world by terrorism.
“It is not a matter of if it is going to happen. It is a matter of when is it going to happen,” said Harvey Cryder, Screven County fire chief.
Memorial Day Monday was a day to honor our service men and women. While we would like for all our military to come home to be with their loved ones, their mission is far from complete.
As Sylvania Police Department Lt. Tony Taylor said, “There is another Osama bin Laden that will be born.”
Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.