Downside #1 to waiting until the night before a 7-page paper is due to start writing it:

Osama bin Laden may be confirmed dead around the time you start writing your paper.  You may actually only make it to page three before your emotions are going crazy and you find it impossible to write a logical, well-written paper.

When I first heard the news (via my Facebook feed, no less), I was rather skeptical.  But I have no doubt that I will remember these past few hours just as clearly as I remember the day of September 11, 2001.  I was 11 years old, then, and the video clips of the planes hitting the buildings, of people jumping, falling from the windows, will be forever etched in my memory.  It certainly was traumatizing for an 11-year-old.

I cried a lot – I was afraid that Osama bin Laden was going to come after me and bomb my town.  I was terrified that he was going to come after my family.  To this day, whenever I see a plane that appears too close to a building, I immediately assume it’s been hijacked.

The United States has been hunting for Osama bin Laden for almost half of my life.  For one-third of my life, the United States military has been at war.  And while I do not live in a war-torn country, do not see the effects of war on a daily basis, it has been there, ever-present but dormant, like a bad memory you try to forget but remember all of a sudden when it’s triggered.

My Twitter and Facebook feeds have been exploding with pro-military, pro-American sentiments (and a few other sentiments certain to ensure that there is no love lost between us and any supporters of bin Laden).  I wish I had spent the evening doing something other than half-heartedly writing a paper, obsessively switching between Facebook, Twitter, AP, the BBC, CNN and Fox (who, by the way, broadcast “Obama Bin Laden Dead” on tv and “Confrimed” his death online).  If I were in D.C., I would most definitely have been in front of the White House … interviewing people and recording sound bytes for broadcast.

I’m not quite certain what to think or how I feel about the whole thing.  On one hand, I’m relieved.  Reflecting on all of those who died and were otherwise affected by the events of 9/11, and thinking that it was all prompted by someone who will face judgment for his actions.  On the other, I’m now even more worried about our military personnel and the retaliation they may face in light of this news.  What does this mean for our military?  What does this mean for our country?

Today also marks the eighth anniversary of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished.”  And on this date in 1945, Adolf Hitler’s death was confirmed.  Or “confrimed,” if you like.