Video by Mary Kenkel, director emeritus
Osama bin Laden’s death stirred strong emotions nationally Monday, and St. Thomas students were also reflecting on what President Barack Obama called “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaida.”
Senior Air Force ROTC student John Keefer said the event is important to national security.
“Not everyone can necessarily rejoice in the death itself, but someone who was inflicting harm on other people is no longer able to do it,” Keefer said. He said his statements are not the opinion of the Air Force.
Bin Laden’s death Sunday came just months ahead of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. The attacks took almost 3,000 lives and led the U.S. into war in Afghanistan.
People around the world discussed the dramatic event on social media websites. A crowd gathered to celebrate outside the White House and Ground Zero in New York.
Senior Chris Antonelli, a psychology major, said he viewed the victory as “mostly symbolic.”
Antonelli said he was bothered by the celebration of a person’s death.
“I’m a little disturbed, to be honest,” Antonelli said. “It’s like a revenge kind of thing. Justice and revenge are not the same thing.”
Senior Kellen O’Grady said the death was an important step in the war in Afghanistan.
“As with any death I don’t [find] joy in someone dying, but it does mark the end of what we got into the war in Afghanistan for,” O’Grady said.
In his address Sunday, Obama said the U.S. is not at war with Islam.
Tripti Sedhi, a graduate student from India, echoed Obama’s point.
“It’s not written in the Quran or the Bible to hurt other people. It’s in the minds of people,” Sedhi said.
“It’s the people whom they should hate, not a country, not a religion,” Sedhi added.
Drew Landon contributed to this story.
Gina Dolski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.