In the US, when a person is murdered, a variety of things can happen to the killer. He gets away. He’s caught, stands trial, and is found not-guilty. He’s found guilty and gets a light sentence. He spends his life in jail. Or he’s put to death.

The media tells us that justice for the murdered person gives the family a sense of closure; a way to move past the devastation they’ve experienced and get on with their lives.

I’m fortunate to have never gone through the horror of awaiting justice for the murder of a loved one — or so I thought. When I found out Osama Bin Laden was dead, a heartache I didn’t realize I’ve been carrying for nearly ten years shifted ever so slightly. It didn’t go away, just as my friend Craig Blass will never come back, but a sense of finality swept through me as the news sunk in.

I can only imagine how the families of the nearly 3000 people killed on 9/11 feel.

I will never celebrate the death of another human. I don’t consider myself a pacifist, but I’m also not pro-war. I’m not naive enough to hope for world peace, but I will never understand the hatred that so fully consumes some people.

Bin Laden’s death will likely lead to even more deaths, possibly here in the US, and a new figure will likely emerge to fill his place. I just hope this isn’t the beginning of a viscous cycle of each side demanding justice for yet more murders.

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. Angie

    I know what you mean. The man was pure evil, and caused the deaths of thousands of people…but still, celebrating any human’s death, even an evil one, just feels wrong somehow.

    And I hope Homeland Security and other agencies are going to be on high alert, because I’m sure there will be retaliation of some sort.

    Still, my left-leaning thinking notwithstanding, I’m glad he was brought to justice, even if it meant his death.

    • I am concerned of what will be the next move. That said, I won’t let it change what I do. I learned that with 9/11 when I flew to DC a month later. It was scary, but I’m glad I did it.

  2. Very appropriate, thought-provoking post. And the fact that so many people feel this way is an indication of how the country has evolved.

    • Thanks Beth. I think we’ve changed in both good and bad ways. I’d like to believe people are more tolerant and understanding, but there’s that segment of society that cannot separate a race into individuals to see that a person’s ethnicity does not define their beliefs.

  3. I look at his death as a tactical necessity. (And one that shouldn’t have taken 10 years to complete) His death is most likely saving future lives, but who will be filling those empty shoes now? What will happen next? As long as there are societies who have a weak middle class, there will always be ‘have nots’ who want to destroy the ‘haves’. History has shown that time and time again. Yet, the ‘haves’ don’t want to give up their wealth/control to provide for a stronger middle class… and so the cycle continues. *Steps off of soapbox*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *