Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

Interestingly, this is not, according to Wikipedia, Mexican Independence Day (which is September 16th) but actually celebrating a victory by the Mexican Army over the French.  It is recognized pretty much only in the Mexican state of Puebla, where the battle occurred.  In the US on the other hand, it is a celebration of Mexican culture.  Funny how misinformation becomes fact by repetition. 

The huge international news this week is the killing of Osama Bin Laden.  The only way to miss that news would have been to be hiding under a remote rock somewhere.  The death of a man who dealt in death.  The various reactions have been fascinating, and in many instances troubling.  I understand the evil he perpetrated and would have definitely continued to perpetrate.  I understand the rationale that dictated that he not be brought before any court for trial.  I understand that his death was necessary.

That said, I cannot celebrate it.  Killing another human being, however evil that person may be, diminishes us as humans.  I believe it was Gandhi who said, "An eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind."  I cannot celebrate Bin Laden's death, but I can say, unequivocally, that were I the first Navy Seal entering that room, I would have pulled the trigger, and it would have made me sad.

Tomorrow I go to another place of pain, Alabama.  The devastation in Tuscaloosa, and the somewhat less damage in Birmingham must be visited.  Carol grew up there.  Much of her family is there.  Though none were physically touched by the tornado, there is no doubt that seeing the destruction in places that once held fond memories has to touch the heart and mind of the family.  We will be there to see.

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