Twitter erupts after Osama bin Laden is pronounced dead
Stephanie Paulino, Managing Editor:
A recent Southern graduate, Michelle DeVivo, was among the enthusiastic crowd before the White House celebrating
the demise of the most wanted terrorist in the world.
“There were American flags and people singing, smoking cigars and drinking,” said DeVivo, a Peace Corps intern now living in the D.C. area. “They were happy that Osama is dead.”
Osama bin Laden was pronounced dead on May 1, following a “firefight” yielding no American casualties during a mission ordered by President Barack Obama.
Swarms of people, mostly capitol-area college students were seen celebrating through the night in Washington.
DeVivo arrived in front of the White House gates at 12:30 a.m. and left shortly after 2:00 a.m.
Walking away from the cheering crowd, there were no signs of the celebration dying down, she said.
“It was so patriotic,” said DeVivo. “With the war and the drama between the Republicans and Democrats, it was nice to see everyone coming together.”
The scene at Southern, however, was less enthusiastic, with most of the reaction flooding social media sites, Facebook and Twitter—instead of the streets.
Twitter users reportedly posted more than 4,000 tweets per second, making it “either the second or third-highest in Twitter history,” on par with this year’s Super Bowl, but short of Japan-related posts from early 2011, according to CNN Money.
With a better understanding of the impact of 9/11 than she had in 2001, Jackie Ajello posted her reaction on Facebook and Twitter: “This is overwhelming. I was too young in 2001 to truly understand… but 10 years later I’m more than happy to stay awake tonight watching CNN,” posted Ajello, a junior biology major with a concentration in secondary education major.
Monday afternoon, Daniel Allen, a senior exercise science major, tweeted his opinion on the news of bin Laden’s sea burial, in Muslim tradition. “Wait??!! So they kill the most wanted man in history, then respect him enough to observe a ‘tradition’ where
the body is buried in 24hrs!!??” questioned Allen.
Reactions from students varied, including fears of retaliation from Al Qaeda, but Benjamin McNamee, president of Student Government Association doubted an attack.
“Throughout history whenever the charismatic leader is taken out there is a power vacuum,” said McNamee, a history major and political science minor.
McNamee suggested that if there were a second-in-command, that person would be identified, if not, a power struggle might ensue within the organization.
“I do understand why the government would raise the security level though,” he said.
Dom Spencer, a student veteran standing in for the director of the Veteran’s Affairs office, Jack Mordente, declared the death of bin Laden a form of “closure” for SCSU and national veterans. “It might not change the war on terror but it’s a victory nonetheless,” said Spencer.