As Barack Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of US forces in Pakistan, crowds of students from D.C. universities thronged in front of the White House in a spontaneous rally.
As news of bin Laden’s death reached campus, crowds of Georgetown students grabbed taxis, rode bicycles or simply sprinted down M street in order to reach the White House. A crowd of several thousand people eventually massed, pressing up against the White House fence and pushing into Lafayette square. Members of the crowd waved American flags and chanted an energetic series of slogans: “U-S-A,” “Obama got Osama,” “yes we did,” and “Hoya Saxa” were shouted by eager students in the crowd.
Photos by John Flanagan
Several students attending noted the historic nature of the event.
“When you realize that 9/11 was one of those seminal events for this generation, this is kind of the next step,” said Nijhor Rahman (SFS ’12), adding that the event was especially significant to him as he obtained citizenship several years ago.
Other students commented that a D.C. education provides a unique opportunity to personally witness history.
“I was actually talking to my brother who’s in the Navy,” Alec Graham (COL ’14) said. “[He said], you go to school in D.C., you’ve got to go down and witness this.”
Michelle McEvoy (NHS ’13) agreed. “The central point of D.C. is the White House, and [...] we’re going to Georgetown, we’re in D.C., we’ve got to take advantage of it and be united with all the other Americans; it’s a proud day,” she said.