Bill Murchison

It does more than that actually. It reminds us of the need for accounts actually to be squared -- for justice to be done and to be seen to be done. (One guesses the anti-death penalty gang aren't particularly cheerful today. Too bad about that.)

There's right, there's wrong; there's evil, there's good. Not to be able to tell them apart with some facility, confusing one person's "truth" with another person's, is to renounce humanity. The national rejoicings of Sunday night show that, deep down, we still know the urgent difference and knowingly care about it.

Then comes acting. A great nation isn't an impotent nation. It knows what to do -- something many of us haven't been wholly sure we still knew. Our avengers followed cold trails and hunted in blind alleys. Still the search went on. We showed character -- more of it perhaps than we knew we had.

Now the speculation commences. Will the admirers and acolytes of Osama retaliate? Will the raid give President Obama a leg up in next year's election? We don't know. We know today that things are much better worth knowing -- things about ourselves. I remark just one: No nation so mindful as this one of its deep obligations to the living and the dead alike is the spent force many have imagined it to be. The bloody dog is dead. And the moment is ripe for pride and for gratitude.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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