Just before heading to JFK airport to catch a red-eye to Hong Kong, I got a news alert on my most excellent iPhone: Bin Ladin Dead.
Talk about conflicting emotions. As an American, I confess to being overjoyed that the man responsible for the deaths of thousands of people had at last been found and killed. And it was U.S. Troops that found and killed him.
As a Christian, I couldn't help but feel shame for the above sentiment and sadness, especially for the death of an apparently unrepentant sinner. More sadness, perhaps, for the begrudging reality that violence begets violence and, aside from the visceral gratification and momentary bump in U.S. prestige, this solves nothing.
I felt some concern, not quite fear, that there might be retaliation (And here I was catching an international flight). I felt anger that the now dead man had profoundly and negatively impacted life in the U.S. as well people's lives around the world.
At the airport only a few people (and these were security guards) gathered around each of the many TV monitors broadcasting CNN. Most, like me, went through the security routine with silent resignation and removed our shoes and belts and watches and submitted to pat downs and full-body scans: Bin Ladin's lasting legacy.
As time and Wi-Fi allow in the three weeks I'll be away, I'll attempt to post some random thoughts from Asia. If you want to find out what's the buzz around the Maryknoll salad bar, you'll just have to wait to read it in NCR.