Yet I cannot celebrate the death of any person, even one who has brought so much death and suffering to so many others.
For a long time, I have admired Capt. Tom Philip, commander of the U.S.S. Oregon at the Battle of Santiago during the Spanish-American War. As the Spanish ships came out of the harbor, the overwhelmingly superior US fleet engaged them. When one of the Spanish ships began to blaze, sailors on the Oregon began to shout. "Don't cheer, boys," Capt. Philip called out. "The poor devils are dying." The simple humanity of that statement moves me.
And so my feeling this morning is, Let's not cheer. Let us, instead, regret the necessity to take human life in defense of human dignity.