Stop the presses!

Sunday night seemed like it was going to be an easy, run-of-the-mill night. I had just sent the pages to the press room and was posting stories online when suddenly, abut 10 p.m., the biggest news story since 9/11 erupted.
Osama bin Laden was killed.
Panic! Anxiety rushed through my veins as I had to cancel the front page for Monday’s Daily Globe. First, call the press room to cancel the front page and page 5. Then I made phone call to the editor, just  as every reporter who works here was calling and texting to make sure we were aware of the breaking story. Assisted by sports editor Aaron Hagen, we began to rearrange the paper to make sure this story would be in.
And we did. Kari Lucin, our online content coordinator was posting updates on the story as they came, but since this was all before President Obama made his speech, not much was available — just headlines online and on TV proclaiming the man behind the 9/11 attacks almost 10 years ago was killed.
It was a rush. Sitting in the newsroom, Aaron and I waited for the president to make the big speech. Public enemy No. 1, on the loose for so long that many assumed he was dead, was finally taken out.
After the speech, there was another waiting game for an Associated Press story to use. Since Obama gave few details at the time, it took AP a while to string a story together.
Well, one came about 11:30 p.m., and I placed it on the page and on a jump page. Aaron and I proofed the story, knowing that we needed to get these pages to the presses. We did manage, before midnight, to do so.
I was so jazzed up on getting things done, I didn’t have much time to even think about what had happened beyond “He’s dead, and this is really important to get in the paper.”
When I finally got home, the news finally sank in. I was 20 when the 9/11 attacks happened. About 3,000 Americans were killed by 19 hijackers under the control of a sociopath living in the middle of nowhere. It was the largest tragedy in my time. It helped shape my view of the world.
I was angered on that day. Like a lot of people, I assumed the Charles Manson of the Middle East would be killed right away. Of course, I had no knowledge of international law and all that.
So as time went on, the only time I thought about bin Laden was when he made some cryptic video stating his usual hyperbole and crazed rhetoric. Or when I took a political science class in college. (I took a lot of them. I’m very interested in politics, I just shy away from writing about it.)
I’m not going to lie; I’m glad he’s dead. I usually do not feel happy when someone is killed, but this was different. This guy was human garbage, and bin Laden frankly got what he deserved.
Then the politicking began. People spouting: (1) They don’t believe he is dead, or (2) he’s been dead since 2001, or (3) Obama is covering something up.
Conspiracy people irritate me. Be it “truthers” or “birthers,” they believe our government operates like the fictionalized one in the “X-Files.” Everything is a cover-up to them, and there has to be some giant secret they have to expose.
I find it amusing to an extent, like my toleration of Charlie Sheen (who is a “truther”), but I can only take so much. When people start making bin Laden’s death a connection that goes back to the Kennedy assassinations, I roll my eyes and wish I were somewhere else.
But that is neither here nor there. When Aaron and I talked about it the next day, we both had a feeling of closure.
Obviously, the War on Terror will continue, but the central monster behind it is  gone. I’m thankful to the soldiers who got the job done.

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