Rhiannon and I have drastically cut down our exposure to news media over the past few months, especially over the weekends. As Brooklynn becomes more and more intereseted in watching TV and movies, we are keeping the TV on "just because" a little bit less all the time. Sometimes the news is on for a few minutes in the morning just long enough to get a quick weather forecast assuming that we haven't already checked out that information on our phones. This morning was one of the days that I did happen to turn on the TV and the news was almost entirely devoted to the fact that bin Laden was killed yesterday. It was almost getting the same coverage as the royal wedding did last week (and we didn't watch any of that either).
We've been to Ground Zero in Manhattan but I never saw it while the towers were still standing. Other than seriously changing how the airlines industry operates, 9/11 hasn't affected me in any directly attributable way. As I watched news footage of people celebrating in the streets, I was glad that Brooklynn isn't old enough to have to explain this to her.
She doesn't know anything about terrorism, doesn't understand anything more dangerous than falling down the stairs and watching out for cars on the street, and she doesn't know anything about death. Some day she will, but for right now, I don't have to explain why people are cheering that someone else died. Even if that other person did some bad things, celebration seems like a tough reaction to explain when it's linked with the end of life.
I wish that everyone's life could be be such that the worst thing in the world they could imagine was getting the gummi vitamin flavor they don't care for at the breakfast table. I remember the first gulf war in 1991 on TV, just as I was turning 9. I didn't really understand it then other than to know that the US dropped some bombs on the bad guys and it was over. I don't remember the cold war and never experienced nuclear fallout drills.
I hope that Brooklynn has a chance to grow up without having to go through any sort of active combat period, extended or not. I hope that she never experiences war with any chance of being close to where she lives. I hope I never to have to explain why people cheer in the streets when someone dies.
I'm not holding anything against the people who do cheer. Many people lost friends and family to terrorism. I'm sure the cities on the east coast feel the lingering memories of 9/11 much more than we do where we live. Let's just all hope that future continues to get better so we don't have to cheer anymore, before I have someone old enough at home that I do have to explain it to.