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TALJONICK: Costs of bin Laden's death should not be forgotten


“We finally killed that bastard,” my friend said as a he cracked open a beer. “It’s about time.”

The television in front of us displayed live footage of thousands of people gathered in our nation’s capital to celebrate the assassination of Osama bin Laden.

The icon of terror — figurehead of all that is evil — had just been announced dead. His corpse, in our hands.

We all breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing the announcement. Soon after, President Obama took the podium and delivered an awe-inspiring speech.

“And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world,” Obama said. “The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace.”

It was a sobering reminder of the horrors our nation faced nearly ten years ago.

bin Laden’s death is undoubtedly a serious blow to our nation’s greatest enemy and a huge morale boost for our country.

“Ten years, man, the world champion of hide-and-go-seek is no more,” my buddy joked. “Osama bin Laden? More like Osama bin Dead.”

My social media feeds made it abundantly clear that most people within my social circle felt the same.

Links to the "Team America" theme song filled my Facebook page while people publicly thanked Jesus for the death of the man responsible for the murder of thousands of people throughout the world. My Twitter feed was populated with “Go USA!” celebratory remarks and jokes about how our troops probably tea bagged bin Laden after executing him.

Everyone was rejoicing, myself included. I quickly texted friends and family with “Osama bin Laden is finally dead!”

And while May 1, 2011 will forever remain a day of celebration, I was quickly reminded of the ways in which bin Laden, the symbol of terror, has changed our American way of life.

I thought back to Sept. 11, 2001 — to my Spanish class in my freshman year of high school when an office assistant entered our classroom and told us what had happened.

I thought of all the thousands of Americans that died that day, and of all the servicemen and women we’ve lost to the War on Terror. Entire families forever destroyed.

I thought of Homeland Security, color-coded threat levels, crippling debt and loss of privacy — of web articles providing tips on how to explain to your children why their genitals were groped by the Transportation Security Administration.

The costs of this venture have been steep, paid for in blood and sacrifice.

And now, after the last of the fireworks have sounded, I wonder how our nation will start moving forward.

Before I closed out of my web browser, one last Facebook post caught my eye: “This is a very sad day for the United States, when we celebrate that we got even,” it stated.

As I turned off my TV — still displaying smiling faces and cheers of revenge — a chill ran down my spine.

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