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9 Years, 7 Months, and 20 Days Ago

Over the course of several weeks, I remember following the news of the attacks on the United States and slowly processing how the world had changed.

Out of that experience I took a serious look at my life, determined I was unsatisfied, and resolved to make some changes. Jolie and I had been in New York the week prior, and the experience was naturally reflective.

Was I ready to die? Was I satisfied with what I had done in life thus far? The answer was clear on both points: absolutely not. I had to find a way to do something much more meaningful than I had done up to that point.

Let’s be clear that there was nothing good about the murder of thousands of innocent people. Without the tragedy of 9/11, however, it’s very likely that I wouldn’t be writing this now, as my life would have been very different.

So what do I think about the death of Osama? Well, I like this quote from Mark Twain:

?”I’ve never wished a man dead, but I’ve read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

As President Obama explained in his address last night, this man was not a Muslim leader but rather someone who killed Muslims all over the world. The 9/11 attacks took the lives of citizens from more than 90 countries.

The best thing we can do to preserve “our” way of life—and by that I mean all of us who love freedom, whichever passport we hold—is to be a force for good in the world. I think America is at its best as an entrepreneur-loving nation, one that welcomes foreigners and seeks to contribute to global concerns rather than dictate terms to its friends and allies.

Therefore, I don’t rejoice in the killing of anyone, because it doesn’t undo what happened almost ten years ago. But in this situation, it seems that there was no real alternative. OBL was not the kind of person who goes quietly, so if that’s how it had to be, so be it.

At any rate, my appreciation to the unnamed military personnel who brought some degree of closure to those who lost much more than me so many years ago.

Grace and peace to all of you today.

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