President Obama went to Ground Zero in lower Manhattan today, to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, their loved ones, and the firefighters and other first responders who risked and gave their lives that tragic day.
The occasion was prompted by the justice visited upon the architect of that day of death and destruction, Osama bin Laden, by two-dozen Navy SEALs last weekend.
With characteristic thoughtfulness, Obama laid a wreath and shared handshakes and hugs, later joining New York City firefighters for lunch at their station, but the president did not make a speech.
Obama is said to have commented the occasion speaks for itself, but a White House spokesman explained that the president didn’t want give the appearance of using 9-11 victms and their families for political gain.
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We applaud President Obama’s conduct and decisions throughout this chapter in the fight against terrorism, from the first inkling last fall that bin Laden’s location might finally be known right through to today’s solemn, dignified ceremony. In word and deed, Obama has restored honor and dignity to the presidency and to the country he leads.
We especially applaud Obama’s decision to not release photographs of bin Laden’s bloodied corpse. Doing so would serve no good purpose and could incite retaliation against innocent people here and elsewhere in the world.
But even if inciting violence wasn’t a factor, releasing the photos would be a bad move because it’s just too unseemly. Obama believes we’re better people than that.
Good for him.
Those who live from one cockeyed conspiracy theory to the next will say and do their thing whether or not the bin Laden photos are released. Those people traffic in suspicion and wild speculation, not evidence and common sense. At the end of the day, absolute proof doesn’t lie in the images, anyway. They could readily be faked in any good photo editing program.
What it comes down to is that Obama did the decent, sensible thing. Again.
That is not only a credit to him but a source of strength for our country.