Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ground Zero, Post Osama bin Laden

Is America safer now that Osama bin Laden is dead?

I'm not sure. But if the crowds that gathered at Ground Zero on Monday are any indication, we're at least happier.

My office is just a block away from Ground Zero, so after work I made a detour to gauge how people were reacting. The only thing more common than news trucks were American flags. A coworker said they were for sale for $2 not far away.

By the time I arrived on the scene shortly after 6 p.m., I would characterize the mood as one of restrained joy. I think most people -- cameras out -- just wanted to be a part of the day. That's good. Out-and-out jubilation would make me uncomfortable. I tend to agree with a quote I saw several friends post on Facebook: "I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." (Note: I've since heard that this was erroneously attributed to Mark Twain. Anyone know?)

But really, my favorite Facebook update of the day included a photo of President Obama in a cool pair of shades with the words: "Sorry it took so long to get you a copy of my birth certificate. I was too busy killing Osama bin Laden."

Tributes stuck in a fence at Ground Zero

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