Hundreds of joyful New Yorkers gathered at Ground Zero in downtown Manhattan early Monday morning to celebrate the news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed.
The crowd was made up of mostly young adults, at times giving the gathering the air of a college fraternity party. The crowd downed beers, smoked pot and blew vuvuzelas into the night air.
People were chanting everything from “USA” to “Obama killed Osama” to “Build It Bigger.” At other times they sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “God Bless America,” “Hey, Hey Goodbye,” and “We Are The Champions.”
Here’s video of the crowd singing the national anthem:
There was a guy in a Captain America costume, and a girl in a Davy Crockett-style coonskin cap. Another guy had a shirt that said “I’m Muslim, Don’t Panic.” Two kids climbed a street sign, waving an American flag and spraying champagne on the crowd. They had a sign that said: “Obama 1 — Osama 0.”
In between the chants and the cheers there was the occasional moment of silence for the victims of the September 11 attacks.
Drew Wilson, a Captain the U.S. Army, said he came down to Ground Zero as soon as he heard that bin Laden had been killed, and thought the whole thing was “awesome.”
“This isn’t the end all and be all,” Wilson said, “but this is a proud moment. It’s important to the country. It’s important to the world.”
Off to the side past the crowds things were more somber. People put up flags on the fence that overlooked the east side of Ground Zero. Others lit candles and put up memorial signs.
When asked how many people he estimated where there, one police officer said he really had no idea. “A lot,” he said.
At around 2:15AM, the celebration was still going strong, and people were still streaming in.