When I heard about the death of Osama Bin Laden, I didn't really know what to think. But I sure know what I felt -- joy.
It was the first, and I most certainly hope the last, time that I have ever been elated at some one's death, particularly a violent, horrible death like his. Like most people, I don't welcome any body's demise. As a liberal, I'm against the death penalty. But though I know it's probably not a good thing to celebrate a death, any death, my feelings ruled the day.
And Bin Laden wasn't just anybody and he sure was no liberal -- he was a monster. A monster responsible for the senseless murder of thousands and thousands, for the ruined lives of their loved ones, and for drawing the United States and the world into a decade of war, fear, paranoia, and outright depression. The first decade of this new century and America's first new millennium were basically destroyed and lost by him ... and for what? For a lunatic ideology that sought to bring the world back into some kind of imaginary 7th century "caliphate", a la-la-land based on a perversion of the Islamic religion. His ideas were so loony that they would be funny if they didn't have such deadly consequences.
I lived through September 11, 2001 and saw the Twin Towers fall with my bare eyes from my office window. I still can't talk or write about it properly because it just makes me want to cry. But the good news is that while New York was viciously attacked, I never doubted for a moment that the city wouldn't continue to survive and thrive. And survive and thrive it most certainly has. This city is more amazing, more diverse, more exciting than ever. Tens of millions of people still visit every year and more and more people move into the city -- NYC keeps growing and growing. To say that Bin Laden and his terrorist allies failed to destroy America and its greatest city is so obvious that I don't need to go on and on about it here.
So life and New York City go on. We are a city of hope. And hopefully all New Yorkers and all Americans are sleeping a little better tonight.