Students Rally at White House After Obama Announces bin Laden's Death
Published: Monday, May 2, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 14:05
Hundreds of Georgetown students raced through the streets of Washington Sunday, congregating in front of the White House to celebrate the announcement of Osama bin Laden's death.
A crowd of thousands rallied to celebrate the killing of the face of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Brandishing signs and American flags, revelers packed Pennsylvania Avenue and Lafayette Square to the north of the White House. Chants of "USA" and "Obama Killed Osama" filled the night air, while the sizable Georgetown contingent added in their own cheers of "Hoya Saxa."
"This is insane," Lindsey Duhamacel (NHS '13), one of the many Georgetown students that attended, said. "Being in D.C. when things happen like this, it's great to be in the middle of it."
As soon as word broke that the leader of al-Qaeda had died, text messages were sent and phone calls were made as students on the Hilltop organized their friends to make the trek to the White House to celebrate the American accomplishment.
"I watched the speech on the TV and then sprinted down here," Ari Pattek (SFS '12) said.
Georgetown students were joined by those from other universities in the District, including American University and The George Washington University. Students could be seen climbing trees and lampposts to get a better vantage point.
Across the District, car horns and patriotic cheers echoed as the city celebrated what President Obama called the culmination of a 10-year effort in his address to the nation. Bin Laden was killed in a firefight at a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, by U.S. Special Forces Sunday.
At the rally, Duhamacel reflected on the importance of the occasion.
"It's a big part of Obama's presidency so far," she said.
For many Georgetown students in attendance, a late-night rally in front of the White House seemed a natural and necessary part of the undergraduate experience.
"I've always heard about people rushing down to the White House for various things, like the election," Eric Johnson (COL '14) said. "I never expected it to be like this."
Other students agreed that the historic nature of the event made it impossible to miss.
"I would kick myself tomorrow if I wasn't here," Pattek said. "Stuff like this is why I go to Georgetown."