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.