By all accounts, Sunday was a lovely spring day. A bit cool with a sea breeze all day – but a fabulous day to be alive and, it turns out, to be an American.
Boston was resonant with colors bursting everywhere and gardens coming to life with the color green appearing extremely brilliant in its spring incarnation.
In all of Boston’s neighborhoods people were out strolling while shoppers and those eating in Boston’s great restaurants filled the sidewalks and cafes.
By nightfall, everyone in this city were going through the motions of their lives in one way or another.
Sunday dinner was generally followed by a movie, reading or television. Others worked on their computers in their apartments, condominiums and homes.
Then came the announcement that captivated the nation in an electronic instant.
The president was going to speak to the nation about an important development.
It turns out that Osama bin Laden came face to face with his rendezvous with destiny.
A team of Navy Seals from the vaunted Team Six squad descended from helicopters onto bin Laden’s Pakistani hideaway – a walled mansion about 75 miles from Islamabad.
Forty minutes later, bin Laden was dead, his body taken by the Seals and then dropped into the ocean.
Bin Laden’s trip to eternity was violent. He lived by the sword and he died by the sword.
He was not a liberator.
He was, first and foremost a murderer, a terrorist and murderer, a murderer of innocent men, women and children all over the earth.
And he was the mastermind of 9/11 which took about 3,000 innocents in one day alone.
President Obama’s words to the nation were measured and strong, sympathetic to those who suffered at the hands of bin Laden and his butchers.
He called former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton to give them the news before it broke.
However, it was the finale of his speech in which he invoked the ages old American principles about freedom of speech and religion and that this nation is like no other.
And he spoke about how we are reminded of our history – the pursuit of prosperity, the struggle for equality, the commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifice to make the world a safer place.
He ended his speech thusly: “Let us remember that we can do these things not because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Those words were quite a finish to a Boston American Sunday – which was not just another day.