The Night Osama Died

The Night Osama Died

I was in bed when my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number, but I picked up thinking that good news never comes at night. It took me a moment to recognize the voice. Instead of hello, he said “We got him.” I already knew. I’d been watching the news anchors speculate as they waited for Obama’s press conference before I’d gone to bed. The voice on the other end of my phone was Chris, a fellow worker from New York’s Ground Zero of so many years before.  Despite the family that such tragedies fuse together, he and I had never been particularly close. But he wanted to make sure I knew. He said that. “We got him. I’m calling everyone. We did it. We finally got him. I just wanted to make sure you knew.” There was triumph in his voice – if not outright joy, then giddy, satisfied resolve. Celebration. The air of long-awaited justice, finally served. Cold but still delicious. I thanked him for calling. I wasn’t sure what else to say as I pulled myself away from sleep. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling. As I hung up, my husband yawned “what was that about?” “That was Chris,” I replied, “part of my team at Ground Zero. He wanted me to know that Osama Bin Laden was dead. It’s been confirmed.” “Really? He called just to tell you?” My husband is from Montreal, and wasn’t a part of those years in my life.  He understood, of course, why people would be relieved that Osama Bin Laden was dead. It was the immediacy and the enthusiasm that...

“A” is for Accountability

If we truly desire that our government be by the people and for the people, then accountability must begin with the people. Whether you support them or not, there has been a new dialogue created by the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  If my own colorful circle of friends is any indication, the reactions to the ongoing protests are anything but unanimous.  While some commentary is fairly predictable of those standing stubbornly behind their elephant or donkey (respectively), I couldn’t help but notice that despite our seemingly enormous differences, there is – believe it or not – a thread that seems to unify the dialogue of supporters and detractors alike. An actual patch of common ground. We all – except maybe for that one guy in Zuccotti Park getting too many hits on YouTube for yelling that the world owes him stuff – believe in the idea of being responsible for our own actions – and holding other people accountable for theirs. It seems that everyone weighing in on both sides speaks to this idea of accountability.  The trouble is that no matter which side you are on, the fingers are always pointing in the wrong direction. Because accountability is not a justification for placing blame. In fact, it’s the opposite. It is an onus – a duty of each of us as citizens of a democracy – to know (at the very least) what the hell we are talking about.   A Strategic Shift   So let’s start from scratch for a moment.  Because this is important.  For the first time in a very long time, people are talking seriously...
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