Osama Bin Laden Death: Student Reactions

Mike Schratz

Osama Bin Laden’s death immediately sent a shockwave of emotions throughout the world and especially the United States. A month later, Franklin High School students express their reaction to this significant event. High School students now know what happened on that sad day in September of 2001. These same kids were too young to understand what was going on back then. Mainly, the face of Bin Laden was emphasized on the “most wanted” list, so the youth understood that he was an evil man. On Sunday, May 1, Osama was pronounced dead after American troops infiltrated his compound in Pakistan. As expected, most Americans were joyful that the worst threat to the U.S. was neutralized.

This also brought back the memories of the horrible event that Bin Laden constructed. Most high school kids explained how they couldn’t remember the day it happened; their best memory is footage of the event. Galen Hancock, an FHS recent graduate from the class of 2011, described what she was feeling that day, “My parents did not explain to me what had happened right away, but I saw the footage all over the news that night. It was a very long day of utter confusion.” When asked what emotions she was feeling upon the death, she said, “I was happy that the almost-10-year ordeal was ending, but I was a little reluctant to celebrate someone’s death. Still, I felt pride in my country and happy that so many people finally received justice.

Randy Gilbert, a FHS freshman said, “I was excited but it was weird, because they have been chasing him my whole life.”

Junior Jillian DiLeo described her full day in detail: “When 9/11 happened I remember I was in second grade and that the whole day was full of confusion and it was a national disaster. My teachers stopped their lesson plans for the day and turned the T.V.’s on and we watched the crashing of the planes over and over again. Because I was so young I was confused and scared and thought that there were more planes that were attacking  us since we watched the incident replay so many times. That week I remember we had open circle where we expressed how we felt about what was going on and our teachers tried to explain just exactly what was happening.  All my classmates stated that they were scared and believed more “bad guys” were coming to attack us, but our teachers reassured us that everything was going to be alright. Over the course of that year, 9/11 was all anyone talked about and every time you turned on the T.V. it was being featured or talked about. I will never forget that day and it will be with me forever.”

Since Osama was on the run for almost 10 years, America has not experienced a peacetime in awhile. It is certainly enlightening to get one step closer to bringing the troops back home safely. High school kids may have a fuzzy memory of 9-11, but their experience of May 1, 2011 when hearing the news won’t be forgotten. Personally, I was happy that the almost-10-year ordeal was ending, but I was a little reluctant to celebrate someone’s death. Still, I feel pride in my country and happy that justice has been served.