Osama bin Laden shot by team of Navy SEALS
By Angelina Folchi
Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday, May 1, by a team of elite United States Navy SEALS who work in a counterterrorism unit, Team Six. The unit is so specialized that no individuals can apply to enter – they have to be invited. U.S. helicopters flew from Afghanistan to Abbottabad, Pakistan, on that Sunday and surrounded bin Laden’s compound. After about 40 minutes of fire, 22 people were either killed or captured, including bin Laden. He was buried at sea quickly after his death, the body’s disposal a joint decision between President Barack Obama and the SEALS.
Some people are protesting against bin Laden’s burial at sea, because they believe that all people deserve a right to a proper burial, no matter if they were a criminal or not. Officials argue that disposing of his body in the ocean was the best thing to do, so no one has to worry about supporters or opponents of terrorism digging up the body.
No photos of bin Laden’s death have been released, and Obama said he plans to keep in that way, because violent photos don’t need to be circulating around the nation. Some family members of those who died in the 9/11 attacks said they wish they could have seen photos of bin Laden’s death, so they would have proof that justice was served. Many people are doubtful that bin Laden is really dead, but Obama said that DNA sampling and testing has been done, and there is no doubt that it was he.
SEALS have been hunting bin Laden for almost a decade, when he was first discovered as being behind the terrorist attacks in 2011. Osama bin Laden was the leader of the Al Qaeda, an international terrorist unit, for over twenty years. He was the mastermind behind numerous bombings and attacks around the world, including the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that killed over 3,000 people.
Millions of Americans rejoiced after they learned bin Laden was finally dead. A crowd of about 1,000 people gathered in lower Manhattan at Ground Zero, the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks, quickly after they got word of bin Laden’s death. The crowd chanted, “USA, USA, USA,” and many people reported that they finally felt as though they had received closure.
President Obama spoke at Ground Zero on May 5 about bin Laden’s death and honored the firefighters, police and other rescuers who died trying to help people on September 11. Obama said, “When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say.”
Although bin Laden is dead, Americans realize that it isn’t the death of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda has promised to avenge bin Laden’s death, and even though no concrete evidence has emerged so far, American forces are preparing for retaliation.
Most LHS students aren’t too affected by bin Laden’s death, because they didn’t know anyone who died in the terrorist attacks. Lang Weaver remembers watching the World Trade Center falling on television when he was in third grade. Weaver said that was when he realized he didn’t like terrorists, and he wanted to join the army after that.
Davis Miles said, “It’s good [that he’s dead] so he doesn’t blow anything else up.”
“Woo-hoo!” said Rebecca Gavin. “But I don’t think that we’re safe just because he’s dead.”
Weaver stated, “America is now a better, safer country without the foreign threat that [bin Laden] represented. Al Qaeda should still be hunted and dealt with so that no other country or people have to go through what the American people and government have experienced.”
He added, “I hope I can be a part of that one day soon. America!”