The Twin Towers terrorist attack in New York is scorched on people's minds forever. Osama Bin Laden, the man believed to have been the mastermind behind the attacks, was unceremoniously killed on May 1 2011. Since that day The media has been full of questions and articles about Bin Laden and his death. It seems that having wanted Bin Laden dead for such a long time many people could believe the news.
Conspiracy theories abound and will probably do so for many years to come. How did I feel about Bin Laden's death? Well I am not really sure. Four weeks on Wednesday it will the 12th anniversary of 9/11. Events of that day are no less shocking with time.
On that fateful day, 9/11, my husband was ill and we were home in the UK waiting a doctor's appointement. As BBC 24 hours news service flashed the images of the first strike we were shocked to the core. Was it an accident? If it was why was the plane so low? If it was a terrorist attck it would not have passengers on board, right?
As we sat transfixed the day's events began to play out in real time. Initially the media showed people choosing to jump to their death rather than take thier chances in the fire. Can you blame them? It must have took great courage but to stay was to be certain death for so many.
The second plane hit leaving no doubt that it was an act of terrorism. News began pouring in of the other would be attacks and it seemed the world was on the brink of war or madness at least. When the Twin Towers crumbled into dust shock took on a new dimension. However even as it played out conspiracy theorists were pointing the finger at some in the USA. The US administration however was pointing at a man called Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan.
People wherever you went, even in the UK, talked of little else for days. Speaking with a more informed family member I learned the name Osama Bin Laden and that he was no stranger to terrorism. These days words like the Taliban and Al Qaeda trip of the tongue easily, but then they were unfamiliar to many people, including myself.
No-one could watch the footage of that day and not be moved. In the West it brought sorrow and pain. In some parts of the East it brought jubilation, causing more hate.
Working in a hospital I was used to encountering people from many countries on a daily basis. One thing that struck me at the time is how quickly people's perceptions of each other can change. One trainee doctor from abroad, who wore a turban, began to be verbally abused. He was not a muslim but ignornance knows no bounds in such times. The abuse was indirect, the coward's way, with underhand whispering. Subtle changes in how people interacted with him. He was painfully aware of these changes.
This guy had worked with us for quite some time, was caring, good at his job, polite, friendly and fun so what had changed? He had not but we had.
Perhaps all of this is what helped form my eventual feelings when I heard of the death of Osama Bin Laden
Having never stood trial for the crimes he was supposed to have committed, he went to his death an innocent man. NO, I hear you say, he was guilty. However, he was never proved guilty of anything, so what else could he be? He may have claimed responsibilty for some acts of terrorism, but that could just have been the rantings of a madman. Having never stood trial there will always be rumours and a feeling of unfinished business.
Many thought we may sleep easier in our beds once Bin Laden had departed this planet, but we have not. A legacy of terrorism remains and a new generation of insurgents are ready to join the cause. Which cause? It hardly seems to matter these days.
Justice was not served by the choice of murdering Bin Laden rather than arresting and trying him. Alynch mob is never a good idea. You can argue the toss until you are blue in the face but to all intents and purposes that is what it was.
Terror and terrorists have no place on earth but we must fight them, not murder them and break international laws to meet our ends. If we do so surely we are not much better than them, are we?
So how did Bin Laden's death make me feel?
Glad in one way but not happy nor jubilant. Wary in another way, of what might follow. Hopeful in that at last our troops may be able to return home, from places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Happy for the relatives of those who died in these terrorist attacks, as they now have some closure. Sorry that the US felt the need to exclude the Pakistan authorities and illegally enter another country.
The more you think about it perhaps the killing of Bin Laden prompted a multitude of feelings not least, anxiety. In 2011 as it happened, we wondered would the Taliban reciprocate, will we see an increase in terrorist attacks, who will suffer the most and is global conflict coming? Sadly in 2013 the answer to most of those questions is bad news.
On May 13 2011 two suicide bombers in Pakistan killed 80 people The death toll included, mainly, raw police recruits but also a handful of citizens. The Taliban were quick to call the media and claim responsibility for the attack. It was a reprisal for the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Since that time the west has experienced terrorist attacks such as the brutal murder of UK soldier Lee Rigby and the Boston Marathon bombings. The miltary has left Iraq which is crumbling and slipping into its brutal past as I write and Afghanistan is crippled.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq occurred because of 9/11 but was it only out of revenge?
RIP victims of 9/11