Thursday, May 5, 2011

Osama bin Laden going away party at the White House

J and I sure have awesome neighbors. It seems that every time history is made they invite everyone over for a celebration in their front yard. And let me tell you, Mr. and Mrs. O have a nice front yard.

Of course, we were never personally invited. CNN acted like the Bat Signal to all who wanted to celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden, and those who wanted to witness people celebrate the killing of Osama bin Laden. J and I were clearly in category number 2. Not to get too political or preachy but "celebration" was not the mood of the evening for us. Closure, relief, satisfaction, justice, and pride would be more accurate. To quote Jessica Dovey and not MLK, "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy."

Clearly this day meant different things to different people, and that's ok. We feel very lucky to have participated in it. Just another great benefit to living in downtown DC. So for those who didn't make it out to the 1am mosh pit in front of the White House, here are a few of our take aways:
  • Osama bin Laden was not popular among college students. Even though they were in elementary school during 9/11, they were clearly drawn to this historic event.
  • Most people own something that says "U.S.A." on it. We were shocked. Easily 70%. This was like Captain America's wet dream.

  • People who sing the National Anthem well don't get enough credit. We appreciated the enthusiasm but wow, there was some butchering going on.

  • Kudos to the police on hand who handled crowd control with an appropriately light touch. There was a lot of stuff going on that would indicate we were at Lollapalooza rather than the White House, and I'm sure that made more than a few of the folks in uniform nervous.

  • The walk to the White House might have been better than the party itself. Seeing people spontaneously drawn out for this event and travel in cars and bikes and foot, all waving flags and shouting for joy, was very cool.

  • Even if you are the homeless guy puking on yourself on a park bench (literally), you still understood what a momentous event this was.

  • Social media is a very powerful force. The crowd swelled as people tweeted about the event. Every phone we saw was being used to post to Twitter or Facebook.

1 comment:

Lo said...

Just to clarify many many many of the students there were juniors and seniors. As such we were in 6th and 7th grade. It may seem trivial but that it is a hell of a lot different than elementary school. Compounded to that fact is that an overwhelming percentage of GW students are from the New York area and were personally affected. So even the less than half of GW that was in elementary school would still have a pretty good reason to be there.