I was disappointed at 10:00 last night.
I went over to California Tortilla to drown my sorrows in a burrito. The place was crowded, and I had to sit at a table with several other people. I'd been chatting a bit with the couple sitting next to me about the game. I was reading Twitter on my phone, and suddenly stopped. "Oh my God," I said. The girl next to me asked, "What?" "Osama bin Laden is dead," I replied. "Oh my God," she said, and the guy she was with suggested they hurry over to his place to turn on the TV.
On the Metro, everyone was abuzz about the news. We were sharing information we were reading on our phones with others. I broke the news to at least one man sitting near me.
Once I got home, President Obama had still not come to the microphone. I turned on the TV and eagerly awaited the news.
After Obama's address, CNN was showing GW students running to the White House to celebrate in front of the gates. Twitter followers who live far from DC urged me to go. I hopped in a cab, wearing my John Carlson shirt, and made my way down.
I was immediately struck by how many people were there. Despite the sheer number of people, everything was very peaceful, and everyone was just celebrating the news. People were sitting in the trees outside the gates, and scaling light posts to hang American flags at the top. One person brought sparklers, and several people waved them happily in the crowd. People broke out in spontaneous rounds of "God Bless America," and the "U-S-A!" chant was steady throughout the night.
One man was standing solemnly in the crowd, holding a photo of a man in the military and a folded flag. After a reporter went up to him to ask him about the photo, he said that the photo was of his son, who was killed in Afghanistan.
There were many servicemen wandering through the crowd, some in dress, some in fatigues. There was an older veteran holding a sign offering free military haircuts.