Old Glory, Patriotic Rustic Peeling American Flag, The Stars & Stripes, Red, White, Blue, on Woodphoto © 2009 Beverly | more info (via: Wylio)Twenty-four hours later and I still don’t know what to feel.

Last night, as Twitter buzzed with word that the President was going to make a national security” announcement, then exploded with the news of Osama bin Laden’s death, I learned that it’s possible to feel every emotion on the spectrum at once without imploding. (not completely anyway)

Dread. Shock. Joy. Fear. Relief.


Most startling was finding in the flood of opinions and emotions, from patriotic rejoicing to something like outrage, the only thing I could drum up was sadness. Some kind of deep, oppressive melancholy that kept me awake and followed me into the morning. It was confusing. Overwhelming. And honestly, it ticked me off.

I watched the towers fell on TV almost ten years ago. I remember sitting in my English class, a room full of brokenhearted people, too wounded for any word beyond “why?” We flew our flags and cried out for justice. So this should be good news! Maybe not the end, but an end regardless.

So… why? Why the hurt? Why can’t I just feel elated like everyone else… or even angry like the rest of everyone else?

I don’t have any answers tonight; things are just barely clearer to me now. I’m overwhelmed by the constant barrage of news and opinions. I won’t presume to tell you the “proper” response, because I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of watching people condemn each other either for taking joy in revenge or for being too soft. I won’t even say I can’t understand how people are reacting, because I get the joy and I get the pain and it’s too soon to draw any conclusions.

But the closest thing I have is this:
If we rejoice, let it be for justice, not vengeance.
If we mourn, let it be for a fallen, broken world where war and hate exist at all.
And no matter how we feel or process, don’t look down on each other, guard your words, think before you tweet/blog/open your mouth, and express all you say with compassion and understanding toward each other.

This is only semi-edited. It doesn’t resolve, and I’m okay with that. It’s okay to not know.

And it’s okay to feel conflicted sometimes.

In light of all this, I’m really thankful for Jason Boyett’s honest and equally conflicted post today. If we’re really honest with ourselves, I imagine most of us can relate to his progression of “miscellaneous thoughts.”