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At approximately 10:45 p.m. Sunday, President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden, the figurehead of the al-Qaida movement, was killed.
“It’s almost like the feel of the Berlin Wall in my generation,” said Sean Duffy, associate professor of political science.
Once President Obama delivered an official live statement to the nation, celebratory groups primarily of young people formed in Washington D.C., Times Square and college campuses throughout the country. Videos on YouTube surfaced of students at universities such as Penn State and UMass gathering in droves throughout the night for the sake of commemorating the occasion in unison.
“It’s like ‘Oh wow, this world I was born into, this thing that sort of defined the terms of political debate and anxiety for this age, is gone,’” Duffy said. “That’s how I’m thinking of it in terms of why young people have responded exuberantly to it.”
While no large demonstrations were held on Quinnipiac’s campuses, the announcement was personal for some. Senior Lawrence Bremer, who lost a family member on Sept. 11, was not sure what to think.
“I was in the library and didn’t really know what to think of it,” Bremer said. “It was a weird feeling.”
Bremer was in seventh grade when the events of 9/11 occurred, killing his cousin who worked in the upper floors of one of the towers. When asked about his reaction to the announcement, Bremer described it as “relief.”
“I think it’s more about relief than it is about rage,” Bremer said. “It’s more of a relief knowing there’s a sense of safety now, more than before.”
Bremer is not alone. Senior Caitlin Faford also felt the pain of loss during the Sept. 11 attacks, and the relief of “security” at the announcement of bin Laden’s death.
“My friend was an innocent man who simply went to work one day and never had the opportunity to return home,” Faford said. “Hearing the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden brought a level of security to me in knowing that this evil man could do no more harm after the thousands of lives that he is responsible for killing.”