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'Mama, What's a Terrorist?'

Will we be okay? Will al-Qaeda dissipate now that its leader is gone or will another rise to the occasion?

In the midst of watching one of the many commentaries regarding the recent killing of America's Most Wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, I heard my daughter ask this question: "Mama, what's a terrorist?"

She's five.

At that moment, I wondered if for the rest of her life she will be hearing this word uttered on the news and when she rides on public transportation or a plane. I wondered if this has just become a part of life.

It sure has been for the past nine and a half years. Bin Laden has likely been one of, if not the most, hunted person on the planet. Many people have felt a sense of justice, relief and the closing of a terrible chapter in American history over his death. But have we really made the world a safer place or succeeded in doing just the opposite?

I fear for the future safety of our children. I feel sorry for them that they won't have the same arrogance, sense of safety, and a country free of color-coded terrorist threat levels that we had growing up. I hope that they won't endure an attack of epic proportions that took our nation's innocence. 

Will we be okay? Will they be okay? Will al-Qaeda dissipate now that its leader is gone or will another rise to the occasion?

This simple question from the mouth of such a small, innocent person has evoked so much emotion from me and for a few minutes I wonder what it would be like to never have heard that word before. I know I have to answer her, so for now I tell her, "A terrorist is a person who believes bad things are right to do."

I guess she will have the rest of her life to learn more about that word.

Jackal May 11, 2011 at 09:05 AM
The bombardment of a couple of countries and killing thousands of innocent people while hunting a single person does not guarantee a safer world. Osama was wanted by USA, but now the whole USA is on the hit list of the family members of the deceased people of Iraq, Afghanistan etc ... There are tens of thousands of innocent kids of the same age, who lost their dad, mom or siblings ... What if they ask you "who was Osama?"

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