Charita Goshay: Bin Laden will be brought to justice

Charita Goshay

No one decides to become a firefighter, a police officer or a soldier on the off-chance that they might become a hero.

Who in their right mind would purposely choose to run into a burning building or chase down an armed thug simply in the hope that it might result in a pat on the back?

That’s not how heroes are made. Heroes emerge when ordinary people answer the call to do extraordinary things.

Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”

Heroism frequently exacts a steep price. Sometimes, that price is everything.

It is why F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Show me a hero, and I’ll show you a tragedy.”

Tuesday morning, Canton firefighters gathered at Station No. 1 to honor 343 of their brothers who died six years ago on a Tuesday morning in New York City. On Sept. 11, 2001, hundreds of New York City firefighters, police officers and paramedics, with no regard to their own safety, ran toward almost-certain death to assist their fellow citizens.

During the ceremony, Canton Fire Chaplain Jeff Bullock read a poem written by a  9/11 witness in which she described how the soot and ash that blanketed the city that morning instantly transformed the citizens of the world’s most diverse city into a single people.

Just before Tuesday’s ceremony, Rescue Truck No. 1 left the station, careening up Market Avenue N in response to a call. It was the most perfect and best reminder that firefighters and police officers are the people who run in when everyone else runs out.

Waiting to exhale

Osama bin Laden would like to think that his recent videos, in which he harangues us for Iraq and for our dogged refusal in insisting that everyone here goose-step to a single faith, has us shaking in our shoes.

Certainly, Sept. 11 marks a day of unfathomable tragedy caused by his hand, which is why Sept. 12 has become the day on which we exhale.

But bin Laden needs to know that we are now far more determined than afraid.

After all, who’s hiding from whom?

Hornets on the hunt

I still have faith that bin Laden will be captured and brought to justice.

Why? Because he’s human, which means that sooner or later, he’s bound to screw up. But he won’t be captured as a result of his satellite phone’s going on the fritz, or some whiz-bang spy gadget. It’ll be something completely innocuous, even borderline goofy, like a discarded receipt for hair dye, a barking, pesky stray dog, or a wedding celebration for one of his sons that will get a little too loud. And because there’s always a Stark County connection, what do you just bet that among the American soldiers who find him will be a set of twins who went to Hartford Middle School?

When you’re the world’s No. 1 terrorist, it pays to sweat the small stuff, but not even bin Laden can remain vigilant forever.

Bin Laden will be brought to justice because I still believe that good ultimately prevails. Sometimes, it just takes awhile.

Reach Canton Repository Writer Charita M. Goshay at (330) 580-8313 or

e-mail:charita.goshay@cantonrep.com