News of Osama bin Laden’s death spreads, Elon University students celebrate, cheer in streets

Students gathered in Danieley Commons around 12 a.m. Students burned pictures of Osama bin Laden and chanted “USA.” Photo by Sarah Beese.

By Marlena Chertock

May 2, 2011

View coverage from The Pendulum of Elon students celebrations of the news of Osama bin Laden’s death here.

Around 12 a.m., after news of Osama bin Laden’s death spread on Twitter, other social media websites and cable news networks, students at Elon University began celebrating. They got in their cars, drove around honking their horns and waving American flags. They screamed, “USA” and “F*** Osama” out of windows. The celebrations lasted until 3 a.m.

Freshmen students Jane Ostrau, Erin Riley, Daisey Anderson* and Joanna Orefice sat outside Carolina dorm around 12 a.m., watching cars honking horns and students screaming drive past.

They couldn’t stay in their dorm or go to sleep because it was so loud outside, Orefice said.

“I won’t be able to go to sleep after this,” she said.

A crowd of about 100 students ran from Danieley Commons to the Smith and Carolina dorms and then back to Danieley. Photo by Sarah Beese.

A crowd of about 100 students formed in Danieley Commons around 12 a.m. Students burned pictures of bin Laden and cheered.

Campus security put out the small fire of newspapers and pictures of bin Laden.

Some students dressed up in costumes. One student dressed as Pikachu and another as Spiderman. Other students draped American flags of all sorts around their shoulders and heads, including beach towels.

Around 12:30 to 1 a.m., the crowd ran across campus to Smith dorm and then Carolina. The students rushed into Carolina, an all-girl’s dorm, to get more students to join the crowd.

The crowd then ran back to Danieley, where students drove cars through the crowd, honking horns and blowing on bull-horns.

Students waved and wore American flags. Photo by Sarah Beese.

A few students wearing American flag capes climbed on top of one car, leading the crowd in more chants with a megaphone.

“I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican or Independent,” one student said. “God bless America. USA, USA, USA.”

The students jumped off the car to crowd-surf. Campus security officers stood by, laughing at the students.

Songs and chants continued until about 3 a.m., when the crowd began to disperse.

*Name has been changed for privacy of student.

***

Freshmen students watch celebration of Osama bin Laden’s death

Students at Elon University celebrate Osama bin Laden’s death

Senior Evan Davis on why he joined celebration of bin Laden’s death

Crowd celebrating Osama bin Laden’s death rushes into Carolina dorm

Elon students sing “Star Spangled Banner” in celebration of Osama bin Laden’s death

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About Marlena Chertock

Marlena Chertock's first collection of poetry, On that one-way trip to Mars, is available from Bottlecap Press. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Marketplace, and WTOP. Her poems and fiction has appeared in The Deaf Poets Society, Moonsick Magazine, and Paper Darts.

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