The talks about Osama bin Laden’s death continue to escalate – or devolve, depending on how you view things. Should the White House release his death images? (The president has decided he will not.) Was he armed or unarmed? Did he use his 29-year-old wife, Amal Ahmed Abdul Fatah, as a human shield? How do we feel about Pakistan in the wake of all of this? Should we pull the billions in funding we give them?
But on Sunday night – the night the president revealed (and to some degree Sohaib Athar) to the world that Osama bin Laden had died in a firefight in Pakistan – there was a lot of jubilation. There was a lot of reaction particularly down at Ground Zero.
Since I get to work at roughly 5:30 a.m. each day, I went to bed early Sunday night and missed the first wave of exultation at the World Trade Center.
Yet I dropped by the site on Monday afternoon, which of course, was long after the last of the celebratory champagne had been uncorked and consumed. The party atmosphere had subsided into something more nuanced and contemplative. Tourists walked about, a few people carried flags, some apparently tried to sell flags, and the press had arrived in great supply. There were also a few other people like myself who had cameras and wanted to document the atmosphere, and there were some police officers keeping the lines of people moving. Oh, and there was the steady hum of construction as well.
What was everyone feeling? Well, it’s tough to say, but it certainly was much calmer than the night before.
Here are a few images from that afternoon – the afternoon after the world learned that bin Laden had been killed.