McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 2, 2011

In our view: U.S. not a relic of the past

By Wes Carter
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A little over nine years ago, I walked into my second hour class just in time to look at the television mounted on the wall and see the second plane hit the World Trade Center.

At that moment, the world was made aware that the first plane was no accident; America was being attacked.

As a sophomore in high school, there is no way that I could have comprehended the significance of the events and how they would change the course of history, including my life.

What I do recall is a friend leaning over to me and saying, “Rome may be falling.”

Those words have stuck with me ever since that day, and given the Brutus-like political maneuvering that has taken place since 9/11 and the still- growing deficit, I started to believe that might have been the most insightful thing I have ever heard.

Last night that all changed.

Last night Osama Bin Laden was killed and America changed.

Is it normal to rejoice in the death of another human being?

I don’t agree with the death penalty, so the emotions that surfaced when I heard Osama Bin Laden had been killed surprised me.

However, the more I began to process what happened, the more I began to realize that it wasn’t the death of a human I was happy about. My glee came from the idea that a tier of an establishment that breeds hate and violence was destroyed. I am not happy that a man died as much as I am happy that America showed the world that we are still the same people who told the Red Coats we won’t be oppressed, that we are the same people who told Hitler that genocide would not stand.

We are a nation that was created to form a free and just society. The envy of that freedom drives the ideology of Al Qaeda, but last night it was justice that punished a patriarch of that ideology.  

What does the death of Bin Laden really mean?

Does his death signify the end of a war? No. Terrorists will still fight, and those connected with Al Qaeda will fight harder. More than likely, more Americans will die, and the question of whether or not a “War on Terror” can be won still remains.

The significance of Bin Laden’s death is in the message that was delivered to the enemies of our country: America will not cease to exist without a fight. We are not ready to take our place in the history books next to Rome as a relic of the past. We are still a nation that promises justice and liberty for all. We are the United States of America.

Wes Carter is a staff writer for the McAlester News-Capital. Contact him at wcarter@mcalesternews.com.