My first reaction to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death was the impact it would have on national and international politics. Would his death after years of fruitless searches for him jack up President Obama’s job ratings? Was this a decisive victory in the war against terrorism? Would there be retaliatory attacks against Americans?
After couple of hours pondering these questions as I watched CNN, I realized I had completely missed the point. It made we realize how different political insiders are from the public. What I should have thought about were my personal memories of one of the victims of the tragedy.
One of my teachers at Holy Cross High School in New York City was Father Francis Grogan. Father Frank, as we called him, was a good guy and also a chaplain for the New York City Fire Department. I guess you can figure out the rest of the story. Father Frank was tending his flock on September 11, 2001 when he died along with many members of his congregation at the World Trade Center.
Father Frank was a man of peace so I doubt that he would celebrate the death of his murderer. But he would pray for the souls of the people that died that day and their families. He might also pray for the redemption of bin Laden's soul. But I'm sure he would hope bin Laden's death would give Christians and Muslims a chance to live together in peace. [See a slide show of six potential terrorist targets.]
I pray that he’s right.