Geraldo Rivera: For Me, Getting Osama Bin Laden Was Personal

He haunted my life since that crisp clear September day almost 10 years ago, when Osama Bin Laden sent four hijacked airliners to inflict mass murder on innocent men, women and children.

When the twin towers fell on 9/11, among the business people, visitors and first responders who died were several dads from my girl's former elementary school in Rumson, New Jersey.

The lost of those fathers sent a tsunami of grief and disquiet through all of our children. The horrors and grief of war had come to the shores of America.

At the time anchor of CNBC's highest rated show, I begged to be allowed to go into the field to chronicle the hunt for the mass murderers who killed those fathers. Refused permission, I quit my plum job and signed on as a war correspondent with Fox News, the spunky new network created by old friend Roger Ailes.

I started at Fox on a November Friday. By the following Tuesday, I was in Pakistan en route to the Khyber Pass and Afghanistan, reporting on the burgeoning effort to catch or kill Bin Laden – and to punish the Afghan Taliban who had given Al Qaeda sanctuary.

Ten difficult assignments in that war-torn region since brought little advance to the story. We marched, we searched, we watched our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines fight, kill and be killed. Still, Bin Laden eluded us.

My secret fear was that he would outlive me, or that he would simply stay vanished and invisible, sending the occasional taunting or threatening video, mocking us: "Catch me if you can!"

Now Osama Bin Laden is dead, killed in a hail of gunfire from an elite team of Navy Seals raiding the terror mastermind's absurdly lavish compound in Pakistan.

We were there when he escaped our clutches in Tora Bora in December 2001. And we were on the air Sunday night when news was confirmed that he was gone.

In between those epic events, life has gone on for me, my family and my country. But the long shadow of the world's most wanted man darkened the sky and chilled the air.

Now he is gone. Sure there are more storms ahead. But today the sky is again crisp and clear.

Geraldo Rivera is Senior Columnist for Fox News Latino. 

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