photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, May 2, 2011

If I Could Say One Thing Before the Party Gets Started...

Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

And that, in a nutshell, is what I'm feeling about the death of Osama BinLaden.

I'm half Sicilian, so I believe that there are, in fact, some people who just need killing but I also believe that to REJOICE in their deaths- no matter how deserved- is more than misguided, it's evil.

I have a friend, a dear friend whose son was gunned down execution-style exactly 5 years ago today. Although they know who the killer is, he walks free until they have "enough rope to hang him with" because without hard and fast evidence there's a chance that he'd be acquitted in a jury trial.

Frustrating? Oh, yeah.

Maddening? Absolutely.

Even as 'merely' her friend it makes me crazy that this is taking so long to bring to an end, a closure, some goddamn justice.

But lets just say...

Lets just say they get the evidence. It goes to trial and he gets the death penalty (because here in Texas we still do that).

There are no appeals and no calls from the governor and my friend witnesses the death of her son's killer.

I've known her nigh on 20 years and can say with some assurance that there would not be a smile on her face, no joy, no satisfaction.

I can say with some assurance that she'd be weeping. From the still-fresh wound of the loss of her son, at the brand new wound of the loss of someone else's son (no matter how badly he turned out, he's still someones' son).

Because even with Justice Served, her baby is still gone forever. The death of someone else's baby will not bring him back. Ever.

So, should Osama BinLaden not have been assassinated? No, he clearly needed to be dead.

But we do not honor OUR dead, OUR loved ones, by rejoicing in the death of another- no matter who he was.

We honor our dead by a moment of silence, a deep sigh of resignation, and by wasting not one minute- not one second- on bloodthirsty relish.

The people who lost their lives both in the attack on our soil and overseas in our armed services are lost forever, and the death of even the admitted author of the attack does not change that one iota.

We honor those we have loved and lost by striving every day to live lives of honor, and truth, and justice yes- but also of compassion and peace.

Ironically, it's those last two that sometimes take the most strength and resolve.

Take us home, Martin-

"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him."
— Martin Luther King Jr.

1 comment:

  1. I have that same quote on my FB page and blog today...yes, I'm confused by my feelings but no, celebration is not any of them. I fear for what we reap...