I remember convincing my mother to let me stay home from school to watch news coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
I remember my grade school wheeling a television into our chapel, begrudgingly, to watch Clinton’s inauguration.
I remember Chestnut Street streaming with people, adults and students, on September 11.
I’m not sure what I’m supposed to remember about last night, or why.
Life is binary. Someone terrifying and monstrous was alive. His ideals and goals were completely opposed to ours. Now he is dead. There is little to digest or debate.
Life is binary. Liberty is digital. Progressive. Freedom is not an on-or-off state. After slaves were freed they still lacked many liberties. Women won the right to vote but were still treated as second-class citizens. Gays and lesbians will soon be free to serve openly in our military, but not to enjoy the status of marriage.
Life is binary. Liberty is digital. The pursuit of happiness is infinite. It is endless possibility that your life and liberty help to define. It’s who you are and what you do, and how satisfied you are about doing it.
What will I remember about last night? That it concluded four days of celebration around the marriage of two of my favorite people. That the bride’s family traveled from across the country and globe to be here. People I had heard about in stories, whose sickness and health had stuck in my thoughts. All of us in the ballroom as I endeavored to steal the bride’s shoe from her foot (a tradition). Sitting in a hotel bar watching her pose with Colonial War reenactors, a perfect juxtaposition of the men who fought to secure our unalieable rights and someone who came a long way (in distance and life) to be able to enjoy them.
I will remember Elise and I, lying in bed in our own house with my laptop on my chest, exhausted from celebrating for days. Watching reaction blossom from one Facebook status to a dozen to my entire Twitter feed. Watching President Obama speak.
I woke up this morning in the same bed, next to the same person, free and content.
If anyone ever asks me what I was doing when I found out that Osama Bin Laden was dead, I will tell them it had nothing to do with death, and everything to do with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.