Students celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death late Sunday night
Alex Ewald, The Oklahoma Daily
A group of students celebrated and sung patriotic songs in response to the death of the al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden late Sunday night on the North Oval.
Despite the 40-degree weather, 14 students took their celebration outside.
“We are celebrating the victory of our armed forces killing Osama bin Laden.” said Tim Marquis, meteorology senior.
U.S. troops killed bin Laden in Pakistan, President Barack Obama announced Sunday night. The news comes almost 10 years after the 9/11 attacks.
Marquis said he organized the late-night celebration through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
“When I saw people coming out to the White House, I thought I had to get this organized at OU,” Marquis said. “We are a college campus, and we need to come out and celebrate as Americans.“
Meteorology junior Steve Sichterman brought an American flag that he and the other students waved. Sichterman said he received a message from Marquis on Facebook, asking for anyone interested to join him in front of the flag pole.
“Social media has become such a mainstay not only for our generation but for basically everyone. Everyone I know has a Twitter or Facebook nowadays,” Sichterman said.
Meteorology graduate student David Gagne said Obama’s late-night announcement caught his attention.
“When I heard Obama was holding a press conference, I knew it was probably a big deal,” Gagne said. “It’s crazy that this finally happened after 10 years.”
Bin Laden’s death is a major cause for celebration, Marquis said. But while it will bring a greater sense of patriotism to OU, students need to be aware the fight is not finished, Marquis said.
“[Bin Laden] was more of a figure head.” Marquis said. “It is more important for our country the symbol that he set — there is still a lot of work to do.”
The rapid spread of information via the Internet helped set off celebrations across the country and made Sunday night a historic moment, Sichterman said.
“This is one of those things that you are going to look back and say, ‘Where where you when that happened?’” Sichterman said. “I think we really need to remember May 1, 2011.”
— Alex Ewald contributed to this report