Osama bin Laden has often been called the most destructive terrorist of all time. His works are known to be the cause of thousands of deaths both here in the United States and countless other countries overseas. However, it is his attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York City that he is most famous for, where nearly 3,000 innocent Americans were buried under the weight of the massive structures on September 11, 2001.
It is also this work that sealed his fate as a target for U.S. military personnel everywhere.
These brave men and women made it their mission to end him, coming to the defense of our nation at our hour of greatest need. As you well know, Navy SEAL Team 6 had the honor of carrying out that mission with success. The man responsible for bin Laden’s death, with the help of his teammates, was Robert O’Neill.
For that defense of our nation, O’Neill and the rest of his team will forever be recognized as the heroes they are.
He was proud to serve our nation, proud to be part of something that could, at least in some small way, avenge the lives of the many Americans we lost on that day and the ones that followed. He was proud to defend our nation, willing to sacrifice it all so that we could live on and begin a new and better tomorrow.
Now, I say ‘was,’ not because O’Neill is no longer in the land of the living but because that pride he once held in his actions is nothing compared to the regret he has in seeing what America has become in the short decades since then.
He, like most of his team, has since retired from his career in our armed forces. Now, he lives stateside, and like the rest of us, have watched in horror as our nation has seemed to turn inside out in recent weeks and months.
O’Neill, like you and I, watched as the aftermath of George Floyd’s untimely death while in Minneapolis police custody spilled across the states, staining the ground with countless innocents’ blood. And he was revolted by it all.
Now, to be clear, Floyd’s death was undoubtedly tragic, as is any loss of life. Furthermore, police brutality is utterly uncalled for, no matter high up on the ladder you stand. And as such, it should be stopped.
No one can deny that.
But what O’Neill can’t get over is just how far our country has turned since that day. The looting, the rioting, the “peaceful” protesting, it all makes men and women like O’Neill wonder why they served at all. Why defend an America and a people who care so little for life and human decency that they are taking this man’s name, regardless of how good it was and mopping the floor with it?
O’Neill even admitted as much.
He wrote in his Twitter account in late May, “Un. Believable. I cannot believe I fought to defend you.”
O’Neill wrote, “I despise racism, I despise police brutality and it kills me that politically-funded terrorists are doing this on the shoulders of both.”
He, like many of us, notes that America is not perfect and never will be. Things like racism and police brutality should be fought against. But to pretend that destroying entire neighborhoods and communities is the way to do that?
I don’t think so.
Immediately after Floyd’s death, the city of Minneapolis and those who rose up against police brutality and racial injustice had America’s ear. They had our full and undivided attention. And with that, they could have done great things, changed laws, made our nation a better and safer place for all of us.
Instead, they took to streets, smashing windows, stealing, burning buildings to the ground, and damaging property everywhere.
But what did that do? Did it make America safer?
Absolutely not. Instead, we have neighborhoods terrorized daily by men and women just looking to enrich their own pockets. Children are literally shot in the street while their parents watch. The only change it has caused is that cops are no longer able to do anything about this chaos.
No wonder O’Neill is no longer proud to have served us. The ideals, the legacy, the pride of being an American now lie like trash in the street, left behind after yet another night of senseless and ignorant mayhem.