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It was a long time coming — almost 10 years — but a key objective in the U.S. War on Terror has been accomplished.
Osama bin Laden is dead.
In a precision strike, U.S. special forces moved in on a mansion in a compound in Pakistan. Some 40 minutes later. the leader of al-Qaida was dead.
President Obama addressed the nation late Sunday night telling us that “justice has been done.”
This has to be good news to anyone who lost a loved one in any of the attacks that came on Sept. 11, 2001.
I’m glad that the U.S. was able to carry out this mission before we reached the 10th anniversary of the attacks that remain so fresh in all of our memories.
In many cities around the nation, the news brought people into the streets to celebrate.
But I was left with a strange feeling when I saw these cheering, happy people waving American flags.
I am left wondering how this changes our lives.
The next time we go to the airport, will we still have to go through the intensive screening?
Of course we will.
The same will be true for anytime we enter federal buildings, our national monuments or attend any type of major event.
Take for example on Monday, I visited Dow Corning Carrollton Site for a meeting of the Community Advisory Panel. Everyone on the panel had to go through a screening process because the company is regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard to have the port facility on the Ohio River.
Other feelings we have will never go away.
I know that I will still get that same uneasy feeling that I’ve had since the attacks when I see airplanes low in the sky. Are they landing? Are they having mechanical problems? Or is something else happening?
We all lost a little something because of the Sept. 11 attacks.
We will never regain that general sense of security that we had before watching those airplanes fly into the World Trade Center towers in New York. There is no way to erase our memories of the towers collapsing and the feelings we had on that Tuesday.
The death of bin Laden cannot take us back to those more simple times. We know that the al-Qaida organization still exists and may now want to retaliate after our nation has killed its leader.
This also won’t mean that we can bring home all those in the armed forces who are fighting in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq (and possibly Libya). We have to wonder if more of our young men and women will face battles in other hot spots such as Yemen, Syria, Iran or other nations in the Middle East or around the world.
I wish this could bring them home to their families.
The attacks on Sept. 11 took something away from all of us that we can never recapture.
We can and should, however, acknowledge our accomplishments. Sunday’s news of bin Laden’s death is one of those times.
Jeff Moore is publisher of The News-Democrat and The Trimble Banner and resides in Carrollton, Ky.