Osama Bin Laden Finally Hunted Down and Killed by Allied Forces…

Posted: May 2, 2011 in News
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(CNN) — Americans celebrated early Monday in a show of patriotism against the man who committed his life to attacking U.S. citizens, while those directly affected by Osama bin Laden’s terrorist plots quietly reflected on the closure finally gained from his death.

In front of the White House, chants of “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” filled the night air, and the quickly growing group spontaneously broke into an off-key rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“I was in D.C. during 9/11. It’s hard to believe, 10 years later, it’s over,” said Mason Wright, 33, who recalled his days as a student at American University, watching on TV as a second plane hit the World Trade Center in 2001.

“It’s terrible to sit here and celebrate someone’s death, but to the thousands of lives that were lost — it’s finally come to an end,” he added.

Alan Comar, 29, clutched his girlfriend as he watched hundreds clad in red, white and blue gather in front of the White House.

“There’s very few of those got-to-be-there moments,” said the Washington resident, who worked as a contractor in Afghanistan. “This is one of them.”

Dustin Swensson, who recently served in Iraq, echoed those comments, calling the news “historic.”

“It’s what the world needed,” he said as he celebrated outside the White House gates. “(I’ll) always remember where I was when the towers went down and I’m always going to remember where I am now.”

The mood was much more somber at the Pentagon memorial a few miles away, where 184 people died when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed there on September 11, 2001.

“Everyone was at the White House celebrating and hardly anyone was at the memorial,” said Jessica McFarland of Arlington, Virginia. “I felt like this site put things in perspective. The people who died should never be forgotten.”

In New York, a cheering crowd gathered at ground zero — the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood. Strains of “God Bless America” could be heard intermittently trickling through the crowd.

One former New York firefighter — forced to retire due to lung ailments suffered as a result of the dust from ground zero — said he was there to let the 343 firefighters who died in the attacks know “they didn’t die in vain.”

“It’s a war that I feel we just won,” he said. “I’m down here to let them know that justice has been served.”

Bob Gibson, a retired New York police officer, said the news of bin Laden’s death gave him a sense of “closure.”

“I never thought this night would come that we would capture or kill bin Laden,” he said. “And thank the Lord he has been eliminated.”

Private moments of reflection were happening, too, as loved ones of those killed in the September 11 attacks quietly marked bin Laden’s death.

Patricia Sliwak-Grinberg said she started to cry when President Barack Obama began to describe the September 11 attacks as he delivered news of bin Laden’s death. Her brother, Robert Sliwak, was a Cantor-Fitzgerald employee who died in the World Trade Center.

“I guess I’m happy,” she said. “You want to be happy, but it’s such a sad reason to be happy. … You think of all those families and all those people who were sucked into this, when one person could be doing so much evil.”

She likened the feeling to “what people feel like when someone has been killed and they finally capture or kill the person who did it.”

“It’s so odd because everyone puts you in this whole collective group, but you’re still just one person who lost a brother,” she said.

Carie Lemack, whose mother, Judy, was killed on American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11, expressed “relief.”

In an e-mail to CNN, she said: “Cannot express how this feels to my family, but relief is one word. We hope we can now focus on all that that madman took, namely nearly 3,000 + innocent victims, and not on him.”

Jim Riches, who lost his firefighter son Jimmy when the World Trade Center’s north tower collapsed, said he was gratified when he learned of bin Laden’s death.

“(My) son still isn’t coming home,” he told CNN. “(There’s) no closure, but at last, at least some justice for the murder of 3,000 Americans, finally.”

Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93, which crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on 9/11, said that while the news could not “ease our pain, or bring back our loved ones, it does bring a measure of comfort that the mastermind of the September 11th tragedy and the face of global terror can no longer spread his evil.”

Kevin Pillow, 29, was at the Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, California, listening to Rascal Flatts play when the news broke. One of the band members mentioned the report about four songs into their set, he said.

“The scene was truly electric,” Pillow said. “You could feel the buzz of the moment. Hearing the people erupt when he said it was a life moment.”

At the Mets-Phillies baseball game in Philadelphia, people in the stands began chanting, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” as news of bin Laden’s death spread through the crowd.

Elsewhere, spontaneous celebrations broke out on college campuses across the country.

Students set off fireworks outside a Vanderbilt fraternity house in Nashville, 22-year-old Chris McDonald told CNN’s iReport.

“As college students, we were young at the time of the September 11 attacks,” he said. “In many cases, (that) was the first moment we ever felt our country’s strength and power challenged, so we have grown up with this constantly in our minds.”

He described Monday’s atmosphere on campus as “pure elation.”

At Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Colleen Russo, 21, said she took a break from studying for finals to join fellow classmates packed into the residential quad, singing “Party in the USA” and “God Bless America.”

“It was crazy, everyone was so unified and so excited,” she told CNN’s iReport.

CNN iReporter Chris Lemke, a media studies student at Penn State, also said he chose to forgo studying to participate in the jubilation.

People began to gather on the University Park, Pennsylvania, campus around 11 p.m. Sunday as word spread among late-night studiers by cell phone, he said. Crowds listened to Obama’s address from a TV blasting out an apartment window and celebrated for hours afterward.

The moment had a particular resonance for 20-year-old student Kara Bergman, whose birthday is September 11. On the day of the terror attacks nearly 10 years ago, teachers at her school in Vienna, Virginia, told students there would be no recess, and they couldn’t watch TV.

“Today, I remember the faces of those students, but right now I see the faces of my fellow classmates, who are putting their lives aside to surpass the vulnerability they felt on September 11, 2001, celebrating and working towards change,” she told CNN’s iReport.

Steve Rossero, a sophomore at Penn State, said he felt a surge of pride and patriotism as he looked over his balcony and saw masses of students chanting and screaming following Obama’s speech.

“Just being American tonight, it’s a great feeling.”

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  1. Shotta says:

    Bin Laden should of hit his head on the concrete to beat defeat!!!

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