The death of known terrorist Osama bin Laden last Sunday served as a significant step for all Americans.
We must remember for many Americans, bin Laden’s death provided much needed closure after the devastating Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.
According to the final report from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the attacks upon the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and the four hijacked planes.
The families of those victims have had to live each day knowing the man who organized the attacks that took their loved ones away was still at large.
After nearly 10 years, these families, along with all Americans, finally have the closure they have been searching for.
The kingpin behind the attacks against the United States has officially been brought to justice and punished for the many lost lives he is responsible for.
We must also not forget the families of American soldiers shipped overseas to defend our country after bin Laden’s attack.
Many families have suffered through holidays and several tours of military duty, having to question each day whether their loved one would return this time or not.
Even more tragic, for far too many American families, what was once just a terrible nightmare quickly became reality.
Bin Laden’s death, though no consolation nor an equal trade for their loved ones life, serves as a significant step for these families in reaching closure.
For these families, bin Laden’s death shows the death of their loved one, though heartbreaking, was not just a wasted life.
Families can now rest assured the soldiers lost overseas we’re part of the reason America has finally reached success in the hunt for bin Laden.
However, as joyous and as much of a relief as many might find bin Laden’s death, we must remember the hunt for bin Laden was only a small part of this war and bin Laden was only one man from al-Qaida.
While we should celebrate every victory as it comes, we must not turn our backs on our enemies, leaving ourselves vulnerable to future attacks.
Unfortunately, for families of military personnel especially, military involvement in other regions of the Middle East means many American troops will not return home in the immediate future.
This is, and has been, a global war against terror and not just bin Laden.
After the death of bin Laden, it’s highly unlikely Taliban and al-Qaida forces will simply surrender or lie down and die.
It is likely someone will step up to take bin Laden’s place and al-Qaida will remain a prominent terrorist force in the Middle East.
We have taken out the leader of one of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations and it’s safe to assume they’re a little angry and possibly even looking for revenge.
Troops overseas will continue to fight off terrorist forces and meanwhile, in America, we must be prepared to deal with or even prevent some form of retaliation in the future.
While we must celebrate the significance of this day in American history, we must not be so quick to forget we are still at war.