Thank you, Navy SEALs

I was sound asleep when President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden was dead. Then, on Monday, the paper had not arrived by the time I left for work, so I started my day oblivious to the fact that this world was free of that menace. On deck in Waterbury and ready to start the day, I had a quick look at my own email before hall duty called me away from the comings and goings of the free world. There, courtesy of the several news services to which I subscribe, was the news that Osama bin Laden was dead thanks to the Navy SEALs.

My stomach heaved. I thought, some mothers' sons took out this bit of trash on May Day, when the rest of us were out taking in the wonders of spring.

I have two nephews. One is nine, and one is twelve. They are the sweetest, most beautiful boys I know. I try to imagine their growing up to do this kind of thing. To kill to stop killing. To kill to change the direction of--what?--thinking that leads to more killing. What if one of them were behind the gun that took out bin Laden?

I have been thinking about that tonight.

I grew up among men who served in the United States armed forces. Those four years in one branch of the service or another seemed to be a normal, expected stop on the road to adulthood when I was growing up. Serving was not a big deal but a thing a boy did. My dad and his buddies and so many other men in the family had years of military experience behind them as a matter of course. I grew up with a sense of the discipline, the integrity, the doing what is right by the guy next to you, that goes with that. I grew up surrounded by men trained to kill--and die, if need be--for what is right.

This did not cause them to need therapy. Rather, it gave them a sense of loyalty, comraderie, trust, and fun. These were men with too much sense to take life too seriously. Understanding how swiftly life can come to an end, how horrible some situations can be, they knew better than to make of life a soap opera. They didn't, and they are are the finest men around.

Horrible situations that require military intervention have a strange way of simplifying and clarifying things.

For those men with the unsavory task of killing Osama bin Laden, I wish you the pleasures of smelling spring, playing for hours with the family dog, laughing with children, eating good pizza, night swimming, and sleeping in a warm bed made by someone who loves you. I hope you know our gratitude.

To quote our Commander in Chief: "Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America."

P.S. I strongly recommend getting behind the over-achiever, not the C-student and his kind.


  1. Very well written and Amen.

  2. Beautifully expressed.

  3. I applaud those men who went in to do this very dangerous job.
    To think that this horrible man kept the world in terror and killed so many people only to hide behind a woman, which means he really doesn't care about any one but himself. Well he deserves to be dumped in the sea and eaten by fish and people deserve to be freed and to get a chance to live a life instead of being held enslaved to people like him.
    They do not serve the world or God by standing behind such men.
    I am proud of Canada and the US for standing up to terror.
    We need our children to be free and now we need our men to be brought home.
    As for killing, I think everyone is capable, given the right circumstances. It's not to say people like the job but when it has to be done, people do it to obtain justice.

  4. Beautiful tribute to those that make sure we live in a safe world. I relish in the passion that you hold about this subject.
    Thank you for your kind words at my place yesterday.)

  5. A wonderful tribute and well said!!

  6. how true but there were many who were and are changed by the killing of others and suffer in silence. my stepfather was one of those we decided after killing so many japanese in the wwII that there couldn't be a god who would allow this. hopefully he knows better now... we all have our free agency but i do appreciate the sacrifices of all our military...

  7. Thank you for this heartfelt post.

  8. Amen to that and so well expressed here Sandy. I have so much respect and admiration for those people who serve in the military. I said to Joe yesterday that it was akin to thinking of Hitler being dead. Such good news. I hope the next generation of his followers will wake up and take another route. It's so overdue.

    Hugs and Happy Week, G

  9. A beautiful tribute-- thank you!

  10. Anonymous7:16 PM

    How impressive thoughts.


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