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Timing Is Everything

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OSAMA BIN LADEN
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Americans are resilient, and we have pulled together, as a nation, to recover from the wounds of 9/11. For those touched directly by the tragic losses of that day, the pain has been constant and the reminders ubiquitous. For many of the rest of us, our quiet hopes have been resting on the knowledge that our Intelligence and Defense communities have been doing whatever is necessary to keep us safe and to continue to root out terrorism and its most ardent supporters. Last night's news from President Obama, recounting a successful mission that brought Osama bin Laden "to justice," is proof that the forces of good do emerge over the forces of evil. Regardless of how active bin Laden has been in the day-to-day operations of the terror organization he founded, what is clear is that the world has scored a major victory; all the better that it was done via a flawlessly executed operation led by U.S. Special Forces.

We should never celebrate the death of another human being, but we all should celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Our nation and our allies have been in a constant search for bin Laden, and it is a testament to our Defense and Intelligence organizations that we were able to painstakingly plan and execute such a successful mission. Kudos to President Obama, Secretary of Defense Gates, Secretary of State Clinton, and to everyone on their teams; Venice's own former Rep. Jane Harman served for four years as Chairwoman of the Intelligence Subcommittee. Most of all, kudos to the brave and skilled Special Forces who risked their lives on a mission which serves to remind all those who love peace and justice that right can triumph.

I heard the news last night as I walked out of a condolence call in Venice, CA, and I watched as everyone's devices updated each of us with the news, pouring in from contacts around the world. It was powerful to see the reach of our globally connected universe and to realize that all of us really are one people. It was a nice reminder of why we are so lucky to live in these United States, and of the higher calling we all share to ensure that partisan bickering gets trumped by shared ideals.

I could not help but note that this all had happened on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Across the globe, the lives and tragic deaths of the millions of victims who were killed by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 -- among them my father's entire immediate family -- were being remembered and honored. There's a further coincidence tied to Hitler, as Saturday marked the anniversary of his suicide. The world is now rid of one of our modern-day Hitlers. As President Obama said, we cannot let up on our vigilance in the global fight against terror. It is nice to know, though, that the families and friends of the victims of September 11 -- and the rest of us as a nation -- can take some comfort in knowing that bin Laden no longer is among us.

Today is a day that all of us should take special pride not only in being Americans but also in our shared sense of humanity and our newest reminder that good does triumph over evil. May all of us renew our commitment to do whatever we can, in our own communities and across this globe, to repair our world and to ensure that we leave it a better and more loving place, for our children and our grandchildren.