I don't like to borrow things wholesale from other blogs. Not without some significant commentary from myself to accompany it. However, as I have yet to share my own reactions about the death of Osama Bin Laden, I'd like to share with you something that, among all the things I've read online about this, has deeply affected me. It is a letter from a reader of Andrew Sullivan's The Dish regarding his response, as a 9/11 survivor, to the news of Bin Laden's death. The mix of raw human pathos combined with the profound Christian witness of the final line just needed to be shared. With apologies to Mr. Sullivan, here is the whole letter:
I am a World Trade Center survivor. I was on the 62nd floor of Tower One when the first plane struck and I was in the police command center in WTC 5 when WTC 2 collapsed on top of us. I am also a Catholic.
When I turned away from the Mets-Phillies game Sunday night to watch the President “announce” the news that everyone already seemed to know, I had no mixed emotions.
That son a bitch killed my friends, colleagues, fellow New Yorkers, fellow Americans, fellow human beings. Worse still, he inspired thousands, if not more, to take up a blind nihilism as their credo, ostensibly in the name of Allah, “the merciful, the compassionate”. All the pain he has brought to this world has not been reckoned and may not be reckoned in our lifetimes. I sat on my couch Sunday night and poured a large glass of Irish whiskey and toasted the death of the man who had tried to kill me. “Fuck you" I said out loud.
Then I went upstairs and looked in on my three sleeping children - my oldest born in 2002 - and I kissed them all. Then I settled in next to my wife - my beautiful wife, who will be married to me ten years tomorrow, and who is carrying our fourth child. She for many long hours thought her husband of five months was crushed to death in the towers. I put my hand upon her belly and I closed my eyes and I prayed that Osama bin Laden would know the fullness of Christ’s mercy.
For one of the best theological meditations on Christian forgiveness and the memory of wrongdoings let me recommend Miroslav Volf's The End of Memory.