A bit before midnight last night President Barack Obama went on television to announce that the leader of the al-Qaida terrorist organization has been killed by American forces in Pakistan.

Ten years after the deadly September 11 2001 attacks Osama bin Laden was finally tracked down and taken out in a raid that took US special forces months to carry out.

The president went on to warn Americans to stay vigilant against terrorist threats.

He concluded his speech with a quote from The Pledge of Allegiance and "...may God bless the United States of America."

It seems unlikely that the defeat of bin Laden will change life for Americans in general, and activity in towns around the US like Grand Rapids will stay very much as it has been, but the changes induced by 9/11 are at least persistent if not permanent.

The root causes and global culprits that breed vicious terrorist as well as conventional warfare and oppressive threats to innocents are still very much alive, and I think most of us still feel the weight of September 11 bearing down on us as before.

How does this news affect the atmosphere and feelings in West Michigan?

Tell us what you think.