More than six years have passed since the Sept. 11 attacks, and Osama bin Laden remains at large. The search for the Al Qaeda leader has been almost completely lost in the shuffle, thanks to the long diversion in Iraq.
A extremely brief death notice in today's Joplin Globe served as a reminder that the evil of bin Laden did not begin on Sept. 11, 2001.
It was bin Laden, after all, who was behind the 1998 attack on the United States embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, an attack which claimed the life of Sgt. Kenneth Hobson, 27, of Lamar. Sgt. Hobson's father, Kenneth Hobson, died Wednesday at age 64.
After his son's death, Mr. Hobson was given a meeting with President Clinton, which was reported in the Aug. 23, 1998, New York Times.
Mr. Hobson said that when families of the victims met with Mr. Clinton in Washington, he asked the President to promise him that the United States would take action when the authorities identified those responsible. ''I said, 'Promise me one thing: When you have evidence and proof of who did it, that something will be done. Promise me that you won't just let them go hide in another country and say that we can't get to them.' ''
The father, a decorated Army veteran who served in Vietnam, said the President replied: ''Mr. Hobson, I know my obligations and duties, and we will take care of it.''
Nearly 10 years have passed since President Clinton made that promise, a promise which he did not keep, and which has not been honored by President Bush. Osama bin Laden remains at large. Kenneth Hobson never had the satisfaction of seeing his son's killer brought to justice.
Hopefully, someday our leaders will return their focus to pursuing terrorists, and keep the promise that was made to Kenneth Hobson, Sr. At the least, it could bring closure to Sgt. Hobson's mother, widow, and children.
A full obituary for Mr. Hobson can be found in today's Pittsburg Morning Sun.