On the West Coast, it was lunchtime. People were making sandwiches, taking naps, working, maybe taking the family out to a park in the nice weather.

In Pakistan, it was just after midnight, and U.S. special-operations forces were flying over a suburb and landing in a fortress where men with guns lived alongside women and children — and the most wanted man in the world.

While we were eating or napping, laughing or crying over our own personal dramas, a world away Navy SEALs and CIA operatives were in a gun battle with a courier, his brother and Osama bin Laden himself.

By the time President Barack Obama interrupted your regularly-scheduled program Sunday night, Osama bin Laden had been dead for several hours.

That was the strange part: The conductor of a nightmare symphony of suffering and death the world over was gone, and we had been going about our lives as usual.

In a Pakistan mansion surrounded by walls and barbed wire, men whose names we’ll probably never know were risking death to take a millionaire mastermind out of the equation.

While bin Laden was a terrorist video star, appearing on tapes to urge on his henchmen and taunt the people whose lives he ruined, the agents who killed him are mysteries. The media has identified them as SEALs, but a confirmation of even that paltry information hasn’t been forthcoming from the administration.

And concealed even deeper in the shadows are the operatives who made Sunday’s mission possible: the investigators, spies and technological geniuses who narrowed in on the man who was the face of modern terrorism. We will never know how they went about their work and the dangers they continue to live with day and night.

It is often said that the cost of freedom is never free, and that makes a nice bumper-sticker epigram. But on Sunday, we all were reminded of what it really means: Without our knowing it, without our even realizing who or what or how, people across the world are doing unheralded, exacting, ruthless work to pay back cost. Their lives could end in a moment and we would never know they existed at all — but our lives would be the poorer for it.

On Sunday, the world shared their triumph. On Monday, we all went about our business again — and so did they.

(3) comments

Desertben

Don’t you guys ever question the word of politicians? 1 Why was the body so quickly eliminated ?2 Does any of the story affect President Obama’s pole rating?3.How long did Osama bin Laden live at that huge compound without Pakistan, or our CIA knowing it. One of bin Laden’s wives said five years.If the story is at all true, it was certainly a pyrrhic victory, considering the debt that bin Laden caused us to create (estimated between 3 and 6 trillion dollars, over the last 15 years). What is ridiculous is the difference between our expenditures and that of the enemy. More mind-boggling is that Americans (excluding the war industry involved) will get so very little, and learn even less , from this War on Terror experience.

MarkSindone

There are many prices for us to pay when it comes to achieving total freedom. We might be paying one price today, and yet another tomorrow because freedom is far from reach. Evil still lurks regardless of the location. Our own people could be the next villain for all we know. There is no definite answer.

Mel Brandle

We were just having random chats amongst ourselves while manning the self storage units at our facility when this topic came to mind. We thought of how fortunate we truly are to live in a safe and secure country where wars are far from sight. Our loved ones are not in captivity and do not need to live in fear of being killed in our sleep. It is devastating to know that others in war-inflicted zones have to live their daily struggles in such a sad and traumatizing way especially for children who are innocent in every single way.

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