I have followed the story of Euna Lee and Laura Ling in bits and pieces over the last few months. It’s always horrifying to hear when American citizens are detained in hostile foreign countries. Often, the end result is terrible, it can make you physically sick to hear about it.
The result of the “so-called” trial of these women was that they would serve 12 years in a labor camp. Unfair, most certainly. Hard to believe and understand such punishment for a small error in judgement.
It seemed their fate was sealed at least for the time being. As much as I hated it, it was better than what has happened to other journalists for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Then the news came that President Bill Clinton would be going to North Korea to seek amnesty for these women. I was so glad to hear this, and I was certain that he would succeed. There’s something about Bill Clinton that makes you feel safe, protected, and valued.
This morning I was watching my daily dose of news and there it was. The plane flying into the Southern California airport. As I watched the two women descend from the plane, I cried. I didn’t think I would cry. I wasn’t planning on crying. Tears just suddenly starting dripping down my cheeks and there was no way to stop it. It was joy, and relief, and sadness. It was the fact that something fantastic and positive could actually happen. It was realizing that in today’s world, those types of things rarely happen anymore.
I miss Bill Clinton as our President. The 1990’s was a time in our country when life was good. There were few battles with foreign countries. The economy was sound, the middle class was able to live the American dream with relative ease. The deficit was no more and we had a surplus. The future was bright.
So today’s success is a tribute not only to two brave women who are now home, and safe, and free; but also to a president who took 8 years of his life to create a decade of American prosperity, worldwide peace, and the hope for a future that looked as if it would be just as bright as the decades moved forward.