Displays of patriotism mark Osama bin Laden’s death
- May. 2, 2011
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Lawrence resident Linda Reynolds stood at Tenth and Massachusetts streets holding an American flag, waving at honking passersby and thinking of her two sons, who are Marines.
It was a small act of pride marking the historic news.
President Barack Obama announced Sunday that bin Laden was killed by a small team of Americans in a U.S.-led operation. After the news broke, students hit downtown bars to commemorate the death of Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and al-Qaida leader.
Michael Hayes, a 2008 graduate, and Austin Wagoner, a military veteran entering the University of Kansas in the fall, celebrated at the Red Lyon, 944 Massachusetts St., where friends shared beers and listened to patriotic songs.
“No matter who you are, we will find you and make you pay,” Wagoner said.
A group of around 25 gathered in front of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Sunday night wearing patriotic clothing and holding up signs.
Several cars blew their horns as Colter Thoma, a freshman from Towanda, held up a sign reading “honk for USA.” A KU Public Safety officer waved as a patrol car passed.
“I think it’s more symbolic, but it’s what we need right now,” Towanda said, wearing red and blue.
Jake Silverman, a senior from Wildwood, Mo., said he found out watching Fox News. Silverman said the crowd in front of SAE was trying to get people excited.
“Basically, we’re just trying to promote America,” Silverman said.
Taylor Boyle, a sophomore from Minnetonka, Minn., went to SAE after she saw the celebration.
“These were the only people acting patriotic,” Boyle said. “No one else was.”
Boyle said she wanted to be a part of history.
Obama addressed the nation at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday as crowds gathered in cities across the nation. Thousands came together in front of the White House, near ground zero and in New York’s Times Square.
“Justice has been done,” Obama said.
Bin Laden’s actions set off a chain of events that led the United States into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a clandestine war against Islamic extremists that touched scores of countries on every continent but Antarctica, The Associated Press reported.
“The cause of securing our country is not complete,” Obama said. “But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.”