It began as a rumor around 10 p.m. Sunday. By 10:30 that evening all of the major TV media outlets were saying it was true, and by 11 p.m. the internet social media sites were abuzz with chatter. At a few minutes before midnight, the President addressed the nation and confirmed it had happened: Osama bin Laden was dead.
On September 11, 2001, nearly a decade ago, America was the victim of the most horrific act of terrorism in the history of mankind. A little more than a month later, as a nation, we attacked Afghanistan, a country with little infrastructure that harbored the group of terrorists who had helped orchestrate and fund the attack. Our resolve was strong and we were all enthusiastic to extract revenge. President George W. Bush warned us that the War on Terror would be a long one, and we all understood that there was much work to be done.
Al-Qaeda is a group of bullies who threaten others in their own land as well as plot to spread terror to countless places across the globe. This remains as true today as it did before Osama bin Laden was dispatched. In his speech Sunday night, President Obama once again reminded us that the War on Terror is a war that will take a long time to win.
It would be nice to declare victory and bring our troops home as some people would like to believe will happen next, but doing so would only serve to allow Al-Qaeda a chance to regroup and gather more strength. The war in Afghanistan is the longest lasting military action in the history of the United States, and it is far from over. There is much more work that needs to be done and most of that work is more difficult than that of dropping bombs and destroying tanks. It is the work of building a country and educating a people that there is a better way, and all of this must be done while protecting ourselves and the people of Afghanistan from snipers and IEDs.
The work our soldiers are doing in Afghanistan is much more difficult than any war we could have prepared them for, but it is vital to the future. For our part here at home, it is imperative that we understand this and continue to support their efforts. We must not lose the resolve that we had in such abundance 10 years ago, and accept any sacrifices we are asked to make here at home in order to ensure that the world never sees another day like that day in September ever again.