I was born and raised on Staten Island, NY. We rode the famed Staten Island Ferry, visited the Statue of Liberty, gawked from the top of the Empire State Building, skated beneath the Christmas lights at Rockefeller Center, took great delight in the amazing window displays on Fifth Avenue and ate in the world famous Windows on the World restaurant in the Twin Towers.
From Staten Island, we watched as those towers were built. Day after day, week after week, they climbed higher and higher into the downtown Manhattan skyline. On September 11, 2001, when they came tumbling down to the ground, it was as if the world had gone mad for a moment -- the impossible made possible, in some unfathomable way.
The loss of life that day was devastating -- from the towers in New York, to the Pentagon, to that lonely Pennsylvania field. So much loss of life and for what? A crazy man's beliefs?
And now, they say the crazy man, Osama Bin Laden, has finally been brought to justice. For many of the families affected on that day, news of his death brings much needed closure.
But the sad truth is, that he was not the only one, and there are more who wait in the wings for their chance to shine in jihad against the civilized world.
My hope on this dreary Monday, is that the "pretenders" to the throne, as it were, are just that -- pretenders and nothing more. That another September 11 isn't on the horizon, in retaliation for bin Laden's death. That perhaps with his passing, part of the jihad fire will have waned, and sanity can once again creep into the world, and peace may one day rule, where terrorism has held sway.