Bin Laden's death: A 7th-grader's view

Osama Bin Laden's death reminds me of a middle school essay competition I participated in last fall. It was titled: If you could choose to go back in time and witness any historic event, which event would it be and why?

Thinking of the agony of Sept. 11, back then, I chose to go back in time and observe World War II through the eyes of one of history's most notorious murderers, Adolf Hitler.


Recently, I was astonished to learn the May 2, 1945, headline of "Star and Stripes" stating: "Hitler Dead." Is it a coincidence that 66 years later, almost every national or local U.S. paper on the exact same date, May 2, bore a similar headline: "Bin Laden Dead?"

Not a person in America is oblivious to Hitler — he started World War II; his infamous name is associated with death and destruction.


And not a person in America is oblivious to bin Laden — he started the global war of terror and he is the name associated with a tragic day in our history, Sept. 11.

How similar was bin Laden's mindset to Hitler's? Both of them threatened world peace; you could even say that both destroyed it. Both were assassins, driven by hate. Both were ready to lose however many lives were necessary to meet their prime targets (in Hitler's case, mainly Jews, and for bin Laden mainly Americans). And both may have misunderstood their religions.

Now that bin Laden was been killed, I wonder why we have fought so many wars. How can it be fair that innocent children lost their parents, no matter whether they were in New York or Baghdad? How do we justify such barbaric acts? We should sympathize with those who live in fear of bomb blasts. We should help them. Governments are working to save the environment and "go green," but war is the more immediate threat to our existence.

I will never be able to go back in time. And after what I have witnessed in recent years, I honestly have no desire to go there and witness more bloodshed and violence, even if I could.

As a seventh-grader living under peace in America, I feel for the pain of all those children who have suffered. Bin Laden's death will not bring back their parents.

Soon after Hitler's suicide, Germany was forced to surrender, leading to the victory of the Allies in World War II. Is there a chance that soon, al-Qaida may be compelled to do the same? Grown-ups say, "no chance." But I would like to believe that there is always hope. Hope that someday al-Qaida may also surrender and terrorism will end.

Shireen Younus is a student at Perry Hall Middle School and a Muslim.