Column: Staffer reflects on 9-11, death of Bin Laden

A fan waves an American flag at Busch Stadium before the singing of the National Anthem as the public announcer describes the events of the past 24 hours including the death of Osama bin Laden. The St. Louis Cardinals faced the Florida Marlins on Monday, May 2, 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Photo by MCT

A fan waves an American flag at Busch Stadium before the singing of the National Anthem as the public announcer describes the events of the past 24 hours including the death of Osama bin Laden. The St. Louis Cardinals faced the Florida Marlins on Monday, May 2, 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

A fan waves an American flag at Busch Stadium before the singing of the National Anthem as the public announcer describes the events of the past 24 hours including the death of Osama bin Laden. The St. Louis Cardinals faced the Florida Marlins on Monday, May 2, 2011, in St. Louis, Missouri. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)

Sitting in my first grade class, I remember being called to the office. I was going home. Every kid in elementary school loved being called to the office to go home, so I quickly  gathered my stuff and half skipped to the office, where I was greeted by my mom. Behind her the entire office staff had tears running down their face. Then, the only way to try and explain to three first graders what happened,  my mom told my brother, sister and myself that some very bad men crashed planes into some big buildings in New York.

September 11, 2001 is a day that will go down in infamy in American history because of all the innocent lives that were taken. But despite the awful tragedy we faced it’s a day that all Americans came together regardless of any prejudices- race, religion, politics. None of that mattered that day. Pictures of families completely devastated and firefighters emerging from the ruble flashed across our television screens. American people wanted justice for the lives lost that day and closure for the families whose world was suddenly turned upside down.

Ten years later, justice has finally been served.

I woke up and felt absolutely terrible. Running a fever, my nose running, the whole ordeal. I got a text message from my mom telling me that I had a doctors appointment in two hours. I hadn’t been on Facebook, read the news or even turned on the television since 5 pm the night prior. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the exam room at the hospital that I heard the news- Osama Bin Laden had been killed by the US Navy Seals. The absolute elation I felt when I heard this news suddenly made the huge sinus headache I was experiencing slightly better. When I got home I promptly turned on the news, and I couldn’t believe the images I was seeing. People were celebrating all over America. American flags waving high in the air, smiles plastered wide across bright faces and I even saw some people with tears running down their faces. But these tears, I knew, were tears of relief.

This is a day of victory for American people.  Once again all differences between people have been overlooked as the nation relishes in this victory. The nation is united, and when we’re united America becomes entirely focused on the same vision- a vision of hope. Unfortunately this feeling of unity will wear away within a few months and we will once again divide into our political parties and other opposing viewpoints. But this feeling of patriotism is something we should strive for without a national tragedy, or in this case, a huge victory. This is a day that although the families of those victimized by Osama Bin Laden may never feel whole again, but they may feel some closure and feel the love and prayers that people all over America have lifted up to them and their loved ones. May they rest in peace and may we honor their memory.