You might not know this, but my undergraduate degree (from American University in Washington, D.C.)  is in international studies with a focus on communications.

It’s not a concrete degree as, say, a business degree or a teaching degree. But it aligned with my interests and gave me a broad perspective on our world, combining my love of foreign policy/international relations, politics and communications. Though I didn’t end up working for the State Department as a foreign service officer (as I often envisioned) I never stopped being passionate about  these things. In fact, the older I get,  I’ve found myself getting more and more analytical about world affairs and our civilian role in them.

And while I don’t claim to be an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, as an American who has done her fair share of reading in and out of school and watched 9/11 unfold before her eyes while on an Amtrak train, I felt compelled to put some of my thoughts down on paper today.

I’m not one to rejoice when someone dies but this was quite possibly the best news ever.

BOO YEA!!!! Osama bin Laden is dead. 

Ding dong, the ruthless nutjob is dead!

I almost hugged my TV screen hearing John King break the news on CNN last night!

As Nicholas Kristof wrote in his op-ed piece today, though, “The killing of Osama bin Laden is a foreign policy triumph for the United States, and it creates new possibilities in Afghanistan. But this isn’t the end of Al Qaeda or of terrorism.”

Well said … it isn’t. If anything, we need to be even more vigilant because there are still many people around the world for whom this news could incite retaliation. We need to remain cautious and not feel a false sense of security because for every bin Laden out there, there are probably four more waiting in the wings.

Still, I think it’s worth it for us to rejoice for just a moment. Bin Laden was the symbolic face of terrorism. And he is dead. Seeing people cheering in the streets made me miss living in D.C. enormously and made me feel extremely patriotic.

This is a time to remember those who died so senselessly at his hands (and will never be forgotten!), and thank our troops for everything they do here and abroad to protect and defend us. And to congratulate the administrations — past and present — for this moment finally coming to fruition (as it’s been since the late 90s that we’ve been on the hunt for this madman).

This isn’t a time to get political. It’s a time to, as we did on September 11, 2001, come together.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming …

How about you? Where were you when you heard the news and what was your reaction? Do you feel any safer?


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