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Posted: May 7, 2011 6:59 p.m.

Harwell: Definitely a week to celebrate

One can only imagine the joy in Munchkin Land when Dorothy's house dropped out of the sky and killed the Wicked Witch of the East. No longer did the innocent little people in Hollywood's magnificent 1939 classic "The Wizard of Oz" have to live in dread of the evil one. "Ding dong, the witch is dead!" they sang as they danced with glee.

Truth can be stranger than fiction, can't it? Just last week United States Navy SEALS dropped out of the sky and dispatched the evil mastermind of the terrorist attacks on America of Sept. 11, 2001. And though the war on terror is far from over, the head of the snake has been cut off and justice has been served.

Abraham Lincoln said, however, that although you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, you can never please all of the people all of the time.

True enough, naysayers sniped at President Obama for a hiccup or two along the way as the carefully planned military operation gradually came to light.
The President stepped up to the plate, made the tough call, and went the extra mile.

He made every possible accommodation to avoid escalating retribution by giving the evil one far more honor with Islamic burial rites than did any of the evil ones give innocent Americans whose lives they snatched away on that September morn a decade ago.

Yet detractors criticized the President for not releasing photographs of the dead man.
I guarantee you the same people likely would criticize him if he did release the photos.

I did not vote for President Obama and have been openly critical of some of his policies in the past. So let me be clear:

The guy manned up! When it counted, when the buck stopped with him and him alone, President Obama stepped up and made that call.

And, by God, every red-blooded American patriot should stand up and cheer the man and support him for what he did, even if they plan to vote for someone else in 2012.

Another reason to cheer last week was the observance of Mexico's Cinco de Mayo celebration, which many Americans still confuse with Mexican Independence. On May 5, 1862, a ragtag band led by General Ignacio Zaragoza stunned a numerically superior French army to gain a brief victory for Mexico which is still celebrated today.

"Cinco de Mayo" is more of a regional celebration in Mexico, and it has become a bigger deal along the border and in areas of the United States with large Hispanic populations.

It seems to me that any opportunity we have which allows us to celebrate with our Mexican friends is a welcome break from the nearly constant bombardment from news sources concerning illegal immigration issues.

Perhaps if we could accentuate our Mexican friends' positive aspects and focus a little less on the negative issues, we might even be able to find a solution palatable to most of the people all of the time.

What a week for cheering, indeed!

Yesterday's "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs celebrated the 137th edition of The Kentucky Derby. Is there a more spectacular extravaganza in all of sport? I think not.

Rich tradition, spectacular hats displayed by Southern belles, and genuine mint juleps ­- "the nectar of the gods" - provide timeless, unforgettable moments celebrated by horse lovers and historians alike.

And today we celebrate Mother's Day. We stop to honor those who nurtured us, raised us, and sent us on our way into the world with their love and care.

Without question, the best gift anyone can give their mother on this day is to visit with her and tell her that you love her. She never quits being that mom, you know, no matter how far away or how old her child may now be.

How great a gift it will be for all of America's mothers when we can bring our military men and women home.
How great it would be if the war on terror was over.
Unfortunately, only the naive can believe that bad guys will stop being bad guys just because the Wicked Witch of the East is dead.

But we're a whole lot closer to that great day than we were a week ago.

President Obama presided over a great moment in American history. Let us hope, then, that it won't be long before Johnny comes marchin' home again. Hurrah! Hurrah!

Happy Mother's Day!

Nat Harwell is a Covington resident. His column appears Sundays.

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