Americans are an emotional people. We all react to news in our own way and many times those reactions can be mixed. But on Sunday night we were drawn together by the strongest emotion of all -?pride.
Yes, the country was excited to hear of the news of the death of Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on American soil. That excitement, for many, was mixed with other emotions as it brought up haunting memories of 9/11 -?a day we will never, should never, forget.
So, many Americans were filled with joy Sunday, purely on the revenge factor because it was our own military that brought this terrorist to justice. Whatever emotion you felt, Americans across the country, all over the world, were drawn together as one.
As with 9/11 and the days that followed, there were no Democrats, or Republicans, or Independents -?just Americans. All Americans - blacks, whites, Democrats and Republicans reveled in Sunday's news. We were one again. They gathered spontaneously outside the White House late that night, singing and cheering, not holding back. They chanted "U.S.A. U.S.A. U.S.A." at the Mets-Phillies game when the news spread around the stadium via social networking and online media services.
Our Sunday evening routines were interrupted as we all watched the historic news unfold on TV. The last time Americans had one of these where-were-you moments that grabbed hold of us was nearly 10 years ago when our country was attacked by lemmings of this radical extremist who quickly became America's Public Enemy No. 1. Terrorism hasn't been eliminated from the world we live in, we know, but its most feared and hated poster child has.
Is it OK to feel a little extra proud to be an American today? Of course it is, because that pride comes from our patriotic nature. We're not proud just because bin Laden is dead, we're proud of our leaders, proud of our military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, proud because we have been reminded that in both good and bad times we stand together as one people, one nation, and that's something we should recognize and value every day, something we must never let fade away.