26 May, 2011

Few days ago, Abittabadd, a city located in northern Pakistan was unknown to many. From now on this city will always be associated with one of the most successful raids conducted by US navy seals assassinating the world’s most dangerous person, number one terrorist Osama bin Laden.

New Yorkers almost never say “Ground Zero” as the phrase is too painful for them. They always say “World Trade Center”. WTC – the place that for almost ten years now has been

associated with the world’s most terrible terrorist attacks that claimed nearly 3000 lives.
Americans could not breathe freely as the number one terrorist that divided the United States’ modern history into two parts – the US before 9/11 and the US after 9/11 – was still alive.
“The United States wiped the spot of shame!” – an American student happily told me on my way to the White House, where hundreds of people gathered at night when President Barack Obama confirmed assassination of Osama bin Laden in his TV address. It was largely young people who poured into the streets in Washington, New York and cities across the country late Sunday to chant, cheer and celebrate bin Laden’s death. A plaza in front of the White House was overcrowded mostly by youth dancing, singing and shouting: “USA!.. USA!… Obama!.. Obama!..”
One could easily feel global virulent hatred towards bin Laden from the next morning newspapers as most of them just posted the assassinated terrorist’s photos on the first page under a single word: “DEAD” or “KILLED”.  During the whole night Washington was celebrating the event and the same was happening at New York’s WTC.
Few days later President Obama marked the country’s success in killing bin Laden with a visit to Ground Zero. First the President visited Engine 54, which lost all 15 crew members on duty on 9/11. Then the President participated in wreath laying ceremony at 9/11 Memorial and met with family members of those killed in the terrorist attacks. “With the death of bin Laden, this phase of our journey from 9/11 is completed,” one victim’s father said.
After the US forces’ successful raid in Pakistan President Obama refused to release dead bin Laden’s photos. This was more than enough for some to claim the Pakistan raid fake and for others to say bin Laden had died long ago.
When the President’s meeting with families at the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site was over, we had possibility to find out what New Yorkers think about the issue.
Dough Griffith, information booth employee at WTC: Killing of a person is not an event you should celebrate, but, you know, it’s an unusual case. As to the President’s decision not to release photos, I think it would be insult to Moslem people, on the one hand, and on the other hand, would you show these photos to your children? Personally I would never. 
Bill Doyle, father of 9/11 victim, Joseph Michael Doyle: I can understand the president. You know what photo I would like to see? The photo of bin Laden himself, in shock, when he sees these people and realizes he is going to die.
And finally, most of Americans are united in one issue – mission is accomplished and US military troops should return home.


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