Guest Column: ISU students united in celebrating bin Laden’s death

I had never seen anything like the sight I saw on Iowa State’s Central Campus and “Greekland” as I did on the night of May 1, 2011. I was at ISUtv’s office when I heard the breaking news from my good friend Brandon. After we heard President Obama’s speech, we rushed out the door, took our camera and filmed the sights and sounds of the reaction to Osama bin Laden’s death here in Ames, and more specifically, at Iowa State.

Thousands of ISU students united under the same cause and under the same flag, very much the same way American citizens did after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, but this was a different case — a very positive one. The man responsible for attacking our great nation nearly 10 years ago was finally brought to justice.

Students were singing songs, shouting chants of “U-S-A” and showing off their American pride through flags and fireworks. Even the Ames Police were in on it; they said as long as the students stayed safe, they’d stay out of the celebrations and encourage the students to take in the moment.

When I came back to the ISUtv office later that night to upload my videos to YouTube, I took the time to watch the similar footage from campus to campus across the country. In a time of struggle and need in our country, we united — no matter the political party, religion, race or creed — to be proud of our country and to partially let go of the pain and suffering many of us had to endure 10 years ago when our great country was attacked.

For at least one night, we all agreed on something, peacefully, but passionately. For one night, we weren’t a nation divided by petty arguments and heated discussion about political issues. For one night, we all stood together from sea to shining sea as Americans.