By John Kanelis / email@example.com
My goodness, has it really been 10 years since our special operations guys killed the world’s most wanted man and most despicable terrorist?
Yep. Time does fly.
Oh, how I remember where I was when the world heard the news about the death of Osama bin Laden, the 9/11 mastermind and al-Qaeda leader.
We were in our Amarillo, Texas, living room that night watching a bit of prime-time TV. Then we got word of a pending announcement from the White House. Hmm. I thought, “Hey, this is Sunday. What in the world are they going to announce on a Sunday night?” Then it dawned on me. I turned to my wife and I said, “I think they got bin Laden!”
It had been nearly a decade since the 9/11 attack. Three jetliners flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth airplane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers fought with the terrorists. That day is seared in our national memory. I can barely watch to this day the footage of the WTC towers burning and then collapsing.
As for bin Laden’s death and the skill of the Navy SEALs, the CIA commandos and the Army Delta Force pilots that night remain equally seared in my memory.
I recall vividly the sight of President Obama striding to the podium that evening to deliver the news and to assure the world that the fight against those who followed bin Laden’s perversion will continue. The president told us later in a “60 Minutes” interview that the first person he called once he knew our forces had cleared Pakistani airspace was President Bush, on whose watch the 9/11 attack occurred. Obama gave appropriate credit to the diligence of our anti-terror network that had worked since the attack and eventually found bin Laden.
Although bin Laden is dead, the network he led is still alive, although it has been significantly downgraded in the years since our special forces killed bin Laden. The fight has gone on since that raid, beyond the Obama administration. Indeed, the Trump administration also had a hand in wiping out the terrorists’ high command when it sent forces in to kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.
The fight must go on, even as the Biden administration prepares to remove the last of our troops from Afghanistan, where they were dispatched immediately after the 9/11 attacks to take down the Taliban government that gave bin Laden’s goons the safe harbor from which they plotted their attack against us.
I want to mark this date, though, as one that demonstrates the enormous skill of our military and intelligence forces who — when given the order to do the seemingly impossible — answered the call.