While the Mirror Lake celebration of Osama bin Laden’s death might have been enjoyable for the many people who attended Sunday night, it should serve only as a brief pause in a much larger scheme.
I was there, I saw the more than 1,000 people celebrating jumping in, and belting out the National Anthem, God Bless America, and even a clever remix of “We Don’t Give A Damn…” I won’t repeat the rest.
A student I talked to said it’s something you’ve got to see to believe. That about summed it up: Seeing Ohio State students come together to celebrate a notorious man’s death.
Whether you believed it patriotic and saying “thank you” to all the armed forces, or foolish and perhaps an overreaction, it was something to see.
But like I said, it was a brief pause of celebration, nothing else.
It took almost 10 years for us to kill the man held responsible for the 9/11 attacks that shocked the country, and many experts, including President Barack Obama and his staff, have noted the War on Terror is not over. Not even close.
What does this mean for us as college students?
At the immediate level, all of America is now on raised alert; the FBI has issued alerts as precaution and fear of possible backlash attacks on America for killing the leader of al-Qaida.
But there is a much broader, long-term impact on us.
Several years after the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror began, we as Americans started to fall into a lull about it all.
These past few years, I would venture to guess there were not too many of us at OSU worried about what bin Laden and al-Qaida were doing at that exact moment in time.
Now, with the leader dead, we might even think we can stay in that lull.
We must be prepared for whatever might happen after our college years. Twenty years from now, we could be replaying this all over again, just with a differently named leader and group.
The threat of terrorism globally and here in America is something that could carry on for a very long time.
Something we will have to be aware of and face possibly all of our lives. It may not be what people want to hear after what many believe a major victory, but it’s a very possible reality.
Most of us were too young to fully understand the implications of 9/11 when it happened and what it meant for our future.
That is not the case anymore.
We are old enough to realize bin Laden’s death was not the fairy tale ending.
All it did was mark the ending of one chapter, and the next one is about to begin.