Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bin Laden Is Dead, But Nothing Has Changed

By Monica Blaze
Junior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
WIXOM, Michigan, U.S.A. –  It was just a normal Monday morning. My alarm went off way too early and a long day at school was soon to be faced.
Then I got the news.
Osama bin Laden was … dead.
Dead?
The first thing I thought to myself was that from this day forward life will never be the same. I remember the day, September 11, 2001, when the twin towers fell.
Never did I expect my seven-year-old life to be any different after that day, but it was.
When I heard the news of Bin Laden’s death on May 2, I figured the War and life itself would change forever forward.
At school, all of the teachers were reporting the news to their students – all but one.
Jim Evans, a college level world history teacher, refused to turn on the televisions or talk about it any further.
He said, “Osama bin Laden is dead. That is all.”
I knew his frustrations with the media were great, but I never knew he so passionately would avoid the subject.
Official photo of the U.S.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
I thought he would be the sort of liberal spirit to want to inform students who are generally thought of as being “too young to understand.”
But then, I thought about what he said and about what I believe he meant. There might be a million ways to interpret his words, but after reconsidering them, a spark ignited in my mind.
There was no news that said, “THE WAR IS OVER.”  There were no headlines that read, “The War Has Just Begun.”  Simply, the only thing plastered on TV screens was reporters saying, “Osama bin Laden is dead.” That is all.
By the second hour of school, the rumor mill was up and functioning. I heard such things as, “He was in a cave – no, it was a mansion!” and “The U.S. shot him in the head,” and “They caught him on fire!” 
Being a little older than I was on 9/11, and considering myself to be a little wiser, I thought it best to disregard what I was hearing from fellow teenagers.
I didn’t know how he died but I didn’t really need to. Perhaps the question is not “How?” but “What now?”
I wanted to figure out what this all meant. The truth of the matter was nobody could tell me.
Would this end the war? Would it increase the war? How could death really result in peace? Should we celebrate? Should we cry?
By the end of the day, I realized that preparing myself for dramatic and initial change was foolish.
Just because he was dead did not make The War die. When a war such as this one is being fought, it is an inevitable, continuous cycle.
Bin Laden’s death might have changed a few things for government officials. It more than likely changed the lives of Muslims living around him.
Of course life changes naturally, but as for me, an average American teenage girl, his death didn’t change anything.
A number of my classmates, after graduating, will still go to boot camp and then off to war. Prejudice against Muslims will still continue. A new leader will take control and fear of death from a war will live on.
Osama bin Laden is dead. That is all.

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