The Times Obituary For Osama Bin Laden
That Osama Bin Laden has been killed has these past couple of days been unavoidable unmissable news. TV and Radio have reported on the event in some depth.
The news broke a little late on the 2nd May 2011 to make any of the newspapers of the day and so more than made up for it on the 3rd May. I doubt there was single paper which did not have it reported on the front cover. Inside there were huge numbers of pages exploring every aspect of the man and his passing. More than twenty pages in some cases. It was as if there was no other news to tell. It really was important though because everyone, but everyone knew something of the way in which he had orchestrated his cruel and heartless deeds. The ‘TwinTowers’, Seven Eleven. Everyone knows exactly where they were when they first heard the news. The horror of seeing looped TV footage of one of the nastiest and most memorable events of our time. History in the making being burned into our memories.
I looked through over half a dozen newspapers on the 3rd of May. I looked at the junk papers along with the more serious ones. Eight papers in all. I was none too sure what it was I was looking for until I found it. It was something other than coloured pictures or history. I looked for something which would bring home the full horror of what he had done. Something that would make my guts twist and make my eyes well up as it had done in the past. I found it in ‘The Times’.
The Times was the only paper which had an obituary. They often do for both the good and the bad. Here they had an obituary for the exceptionally evil. What was exceptional about this obituary was that it ran to six pages long. It would have been longer still if they had not reduced the size of the type.
Why so long? Because The Times listed the names of every known victim of this awful man.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – August 7 1998 – 11 dead
Nairobi, Kenya – August 7 1998 – 250 dead
USS Cole, Aden – October 12 2000 – 17 dead
World Trade Centre, New York – September 11 2001 – 2,652 dead
American Airlines, Flight 77 – September 11 2001 – 59 dead
American Airlines, Flight 93 – September 11 2001 – 40 dead
American Airlines, Flight 11 – September 11 2001 – 87 dead
American Airlines, Flight 175 – September 11 2001 – 60 dead
The Pentagon, Washington – September 11 2001 – 126 dead
Bali – October 12 2002 – 202 dead
Madrid – March 11 2004 – 191 dead
Russell Square – July 7 2005 – 26 dead
Tavistock Square – July 7 2005 – 13 dead
Edgware Road – July 7 2005 – 6 dead
Aldgate – July 7 2005 – 7 dead
Remember? I am not likely to ever forget.