As he told a friend earlier this past week, the Colonel wishes with every fibre of his being that he had been the last person to see the light of life in Osama bin Laden's eyes. Yet, the celebration surrounding the death of the evil man who visited terror on our nation has seemed to the Colonel to be...well, unseemly.
The Colonel couldn't quite put his finger on the reason for the unease he felt at the gloating and exuberance displayed by Americans at the death of the terror chief.
Don't mistake the Colonel's feelings for any sort of remorse--bin Laden needed to be dead, and by our hands.
The Colonel is not the least bit sorry that an enemy of the United States has assumed room temperature. However, the excessive verbal victory dancing at his demise just seems tawdry and, dare the Colonel say it, un-American. Part of what makes us so special as Americans is our quickness to celebrate positive achievement. We revel in feel-good stories wherein good things happen to good people. If every American wore a medal on his or her lapel denoting citizenship, the obverse would have the likeness of one American applauding another.
On the reverse of that medal would be the likeness of someone displaying what used to be the common trait of uncommon humility among we who proudly call ourselves Americans.
Midst all of the pumping and bumping of fists last week, the Colonel was reminded of the admonition credited to Coach Vince Lombardi. One of his running backs had celebrated a bit too excessively, in Lombardi's estimation (probably far less celebration than is common in sport today). The legendary coach caught the player by the arm as he returned to the sideline and said to him, "The next time you score a touchdown, act like you have been there before."
In his Bible study this week, the Colonel read the following passage in God's word and was struck by its timeliness:
"Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him." Proverbs 24: 17-18
Seems to the Colonel that we have gloated and celebrated a tad too much at bin Laden's death--even if he was evil incarnate and harbinger of unprecedented havoc in our once-safe harbor.
The Colonel smiled a bit (no overt celebration, mind you) at the irony of bin Laden's burial at sea. Such an action is truly only an honor to anyone whose life is connected with the sea--commercially, militarily, or even recreationally. To anyone or anything not connected in some way to the sea, burial at sea is just disposal.
We swept up some trash last week, and dumped it overboard. No cause for celebration.