Years from now, historians will look back to the days marking the threshold between April and May 2011 and shake their heads in awe and wonder at the week that was.
As a spectator to events, I’m not sure I quite believe it myself.
Last Friday: Prince William wed Kate Middleton in a ceremony of much pomp and circumstance. Not caring much for British royalty, I let the event pass with a shrug and a sneer. (Prince William’s bald spot was quite hypnotic, though.) Apparently for the rest of the world, it was a Big Thing, though I still don’t know why. If it made everyone else forget about their troubles if only for a day, then who am I to object to their happiness?
Last Sunday: Pope Benedict XVI beatified his predecessor Pope John Paul II. This I had more reason to cheer. I had no doubt that the beatification (and I hope soon the canonization) would come to pass. Blessed John Paul led the Church for more than twenty years, and his was an exemplary and inspiring life.
Today: Barack Obama announced to the United States and to the world that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a military operation. bin Laden wasn’t, after all, hiding in the mountains of Afghanistan but in a posh enclave in Pakistan. Unlike the cheering crowds in Washington, DC, I don’t feel any emotion about bin Laden’s death; what strikes me more is the sense of closure as I view the events.
Today, May 2, 2011, forms the counterpart bookend to the September 11, 2001. Between them is a span of almost ten years; in that time, the world has had much pain and suffering, jihad on the one side and the War on Terror on the other. I don’t think this solves the world’s problems and I doubt if we can claim, as Obama does, that justice has been served; but I can’t help but feel some satisfaction to know that a chapter in the world’s history has seen its end.
What a week, what a week.