I was happy when I heard bin laden was dead. He wouldn't order anymore innocent Americans to be murdered. But I wasn't quite ready to run out into the streets and dance a jig. It’s just not who I am. But that possibility changed when I heard a piece on NPR about a Texas lawmaker.
State Senator, and former Army lieutenant colonel, Brian Birdwell, was working in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, when it was hit by a hijacked plane. The routine chore of going to bathroom actually saved his life. He was returning to his office when the plane hit. From the explosion, Birdwell was blown of his feet and was seriously injured--burned over 60 percent of his body. When rescuers tried to pull him from the building, they pulled the skin right off his body. The heat was so intense part of his clothing had melted into his body. Somehow he survived. Some of his co-workers and friends didn’t make it. He went through 30 surgeries and skin grafts to repair and rebuild his body.
Today, in the Texas state legislature, he received sympathetic pats on the back from his fellow legislators. Birdwell also talked about a fellow Pentagon burn patient who lived for three years before dying while on his way to one of more than 100 reconstructive operations.
I can’t even fathom it—100 hundred reconstructive operations. Good God Almighty. I've had two skin grafts for my burned hand and thankfully I can't remember any of it. I can't even imagine being an adult and going through more than 100 surgeries.
Birdwell’s voice cracked as he talked of his fellow burn unit patient. I felt as if I wanted to cry myself as I drove and listened to the story.
I think I’m ready to dance that jig for bin laden’s death.
Justice is done.