Battle won, war continues

Published 8:59 am Tuesday, May 3, 2011

“So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that’s the case, consider the message received. And take this message in exchange: You don’t know my people. You don’t know what we’re capable of. You don’t know what you just started.

But you’re about to learn. “

–         Miami Herald Columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. on September 12, 2001

The column was directed towards Osama bin Laden, although at the time Pitts wrote the article that may not have been clear.

On Sunday, the United States military carried out an exercise that ended in bin Laden’s death and an end to the decade-long nightmare for many citizens of this great country.

It is a time of celebration for many Americans – hopefully not for the sake of death, but rather for the sake of justice. It is a time in which we are proud for our country and thankful for the servicemen who carried out this dangerous task.

And, while it certainly is all that, it is also a time of reflection – a time to remember what has been lost at the hands of a man who tried and failed to bring America to its knees.

The losses can’t be counted with just the 3,000 that died on September 11, 2001. It includes many thousands of men and women who have given their life in the battle against terror. It includes one of our own – U.S. Army Sgt. Will McLawhorn – and many who we have never known.

Al Qaeda did learn some of what we’re capable of Sunday night, but we must be ever vigilant. The battle is won, but the war rages on.

–         The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald