by Jennifer Horn
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE NH UNION LEADER
MAY 3, 2011
Victory is often bittersweet. On Sunday night, as President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by US Navy Seals in Pakistan, one could not fully appreciate the victory without also revisiting the loss that made it necessary.
On September 11, 2001 the attacks orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden plunged a dagger into the heart of our nation. Nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost that day, and thousands more in the years since as we have fought an enemy that would destroy all we hold dear if allowed to go unchallenged.
The pain of our loss continues to this day. How can we understand the sadness of a child whose mother was snatched away, or of a Dad whose son was lost? How will we ever understand the courage of firefighters and police officers who run headlong toward danger, as we all run away? And to this day, young American sons and daughters continue to courageously and voluntarily, offer themselves in defense of our nation with a valor we will never be able to fully comprehend.
What happened in Pakistan was, however, a victory. It was a victory for those who lost loved ones, it was a victory for a nation that suffered an unprovoked, horrific attack, and above all it was a victory for freedom.
Osama Bin Laden was an evil man who perpetrated an evil ideal. The radical belief of Islamic extremists that all those who do not embrace their faith must die, is an evil belief. And while this fight against terrorism is not, and may never be over, this particular battle was won by freedom.
The death of Osama Bin Laden sends a loud, clear message that America does not give in. For nearly ten years al Qaed has continued to fight in the belief that Americans are weak-willed and would eventually give up and go home. Now they know, and the world knows, that America will never give up the fight for freedom.
On Sunday night, as word spread of the defeat of the alQaeda leader, thousands of Americans gathered around the country; in front of the White House, at Times Square, and at Boston Common. The crowds sang the national anthem, "God Bless America" and at dawn, at Ground Zero, they spontaneously faced the sun and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
The crowds that gathered at midnight across our great nation were led by students and young people who were just children on September 11th. Ronald Reagan said that freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction, that we do not pass it down to our children in the bloodstream. But I say we pass it down in our spirits, and in our hearts, and now we know that this generation is ready to protect and preserve it for the next.
The glory of this victory goes to those who have given their lives to its pursuit, but there is little time to celebrate, for the threat to liberty continues. As long as there are people who hold hatred in their hearts for freedom, who would assault our sovereignty, who deny our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then the fight must go on.
Let the alarm ring loud and strong to the enemies of freedom everywhere, that wherever they hide, wherever they gather to plot and plan, the American people are strong, that we live in the greatest nation ever conceived by man and we will not give up, we will not rest, we will not lay down until freedom and liberty are assured for our children and all future generations.
Jennifer Horn is founder of We The People and the 2008 Republican nominee for Congress in New Hampshire's Second District