As most of America knows by now, Osama bin Laden, the man credited with the September 11 attacks, was killed over the weekend in a luxurious compound in a suburb of Islamabad, Pakistan.
With this news, America, a country that only 10 years ago felt the grief, fear and dispair of being attacked by al Qa’ida, had mixed reactions over the slaying of its longtime foe. As President Obama addressed the nation on Sunday night, crowds gathered around the White House to celebrate the killing in the streets. Over the following days, pundits and regular citizens expressed their feelings; some positive and some more reserved.
This is yet another divisive topic the nation is facing, and locally, in the Trainsong neighborhood of Eugene, Ore. there is some division among residents and people that work in the area. Francisco Flores, 30, who lives in the area and works at Burrito Amigos on Highway 99W said, “It’s about time. It’s been a long time.” He paused, and then finished, “It’s good that they found him.” A recipient of New York Times email alerts, Flores knew of bin Laden’s death almost immediately after it was released to major news outlets. He also heard about the news via word of mouth.
Across from Burrito Amigos was a taco truck parked outside of a lumber store. Tyler Whiting, 20, a patron of the taco truck and owner of Redmond RV & Marine was excited to learn of Osama bin Laden’s demise. “It’s pretty awesome, I think.” Whiting said. He heard the news on the drive back from an all-weekend camping trip. His friend called him to tell him and they “started partying.” He is unsure of the impact, if any, that this event will have on the world. “[it’s] probably more symbolic than anything, I’d say…I’m sure they’ve known where he’s been the whole time and they were just waiting for a good time”. Counter to others that were contacted, Whiting did not see anything about the news on social media sites like Facebook. Whiting’s friend and business partner, Cody Bowerman, 23, added “I’m glad he’s done with, so there’s no more stuff about him.”
In addition to these reactions some people didn’t attach much worth to the news. “I actually thought he was dead already, so that shows you how much I keep up.” said Tia Fitzgerald, 23, an employee at the American Red Cross Pacific Chapter. “I don’t really care. It’s not gonna really change anything.”