Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 1, 2011

I have received a lot of questions from family and friends back home in Ohio about how things are unfolding in DC, so I thought I would post my thoughts on here. Nothing on here will be new news.. as you know the same stories and headlines are being looped on all news stations and Twitter feeds, but this is how I see it:

Where were you when you found out about Osama bin Laden's death?

I was sitting on the couch watching TV with my roommates Mo and Justin when Justin got news on Facebook about Obama's speech. I immediately resorted to my Twitter and saw that the speech was trending (about 10 PM). Speculations and rumors were flying. Then, as we were waiting for Obama to come on, one of the people I was following announced that they heard Osama had been killed. A few minutes later, CNN released the same statement on TV, confirming suspicions. I wonder how different reactions would have been if we heard the news from Obama himself rather than finding out through social media and news sources first... but nonetheless, the power of social media amazes me.

Did you hear the story about the guy who unknowingly Tweeted about the incident from Abbottabad? Fascinating. Before the incident he had about 700 followers and now he has over 95,000! --->

After the speech, crowds were flooding to the White House to "celebrate." At first, the videos of people chanting and singing the National Anthem gave me chills. It was in fact, the first time in a long time that we have had any sign of "good news." But after a while the crowd seemed to flood with students from GW's campus and seemed to be turning into another excuse to party. Something just didn't seem right.  I only live about a mile and a half from the White House and a few faint cheers and whistles could be heard from outside my window, but no, I didn't go to the White House to "celebrate."

As one article put it:
As the news of Osama bin Laden's death, thousands of people - most of them college-age and in requisite flip-floppy collegiate gear - whipped up a raucous celebration right outside the White House gates that was one part Mardi Gras and two parts Bon Jovi concert.
There were Cigars, a few beers, a lacrosse-stick-turned-flagpole waved by a kid who just climbed a statue, joining others aloft in trees and atop lampposts. Well past midnight, cars zipped up and down the streets of downtown Washington with women standing up through sunroofs waving ginormous American flags and guys blowing vuvuzelas, spring break style.
It felt a little crazy, a bit much. Almost vulgar.
Because meanwhile, across the river, at the Pentagon, in the ghostly quiet of lights at the September 11 memorial, a military veteran silently wept.
Read the full article here.

From WashingtonPost.com

I'm not saying that I wouldn't have been out at the bars if I were still at OU, or that if I were a GW student, I wouldn't have been persuaded to go to the White House. All I am saying is that as reality sets in, you realize that this isn't over. As bittersweet and condescending that it is, I'm glad he's gone? It's certainly "complicated." The images of people cheering remind me of the images of people across the globe cheering their victory over us on 9/11.

There is an increased security presence in the metro system in Washington DC, but other than that, it seems to be business as usual. I would be lying if I said, I wasn't a little nervous for a retaliation but I feel mostly safe.

I was in the 8th grade, sitting in class when a teacher came running in our room to turn on the television. We saw the second plane fly into the second tower live. It was surreal because our school is located right off the runway from the Dayton International Airport and as we watched a plane disintegrate a building.. another was landing on the runway outside the classroom window. We were supposed to go to Washington DC for our 8th grade class trip but because of the terrorist attacks our trip was canceled. And now, a decade later, here I am, living in Washington DC when the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death was released.

*UPDATE* This quote below, come to find out, thanks to a few tips from friends, is actually a misquote. Read the article here. I told you social media was crazy ;)

My sister B shared this quote:

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that ~MLK
The cover of May 2, 2011 Washington Post. An extra 35,000 copies of this paper were made.
This is just too funny not to share

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