From the stands to the bars to the streets, thousands of people in our area celebrated when they heard that Osama bin Laden was dead.
Victor Pickney was at work in Center City when he found out, "The chef at work just came around the corner, I was cleaning up, and he just came around with a smile on his face like, 'Yeah, we got him!'"
Loren Kagan was in a bar on South Street with his friends, "Once it caught on, when it happened, the mood in the room was pretty ecstatic, pretty excited – almost enough to divert attention away from the Phillies."
45,000 people were at the Phillies game, where fans started chanting, "USA! USA!" as word spread – not over the loudspeakers, but mostly by phone. "I actually didn't even know. I wondered why everyone was saying USA, USA," said James Lauer from Trenton. "And then my brother texted me and told me that, you know, Osama was dead. . .Go USA!"
And although many fans at the game found out the big news via their smartphones, some of the Phillies weren't sure why the fans were chanting.
“There was a buzz around the bullpen that Osama had been killed. I guess that’s why everyone was chanting “U-S-A,” you know because I think that everyone on the field was wondering what was going on,” said Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino.
At State College, thousands of Penn State students swarmed to the center of town. Jake Kaplan of Ardmore was one of them. "It was incredible. . .There were a lot of USA chants. A lot of music playing. People were singing the National Anthem and Born in the USA."
Along with the celebrating, however, came a cautionary move from Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. He sent orders to ensure all units were checking on the city's Mosques and Synagogues every hour – high alert status – until further notice.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge said he never doubted that someday bin Laden would be brought to justice.
"The final chapters are yet to be written but it's good to bring this one to such a dramatic and appropriate closure," said Former
Gordon Felt, president of the Families of Flight 93, lost his brother, Edward, in the crash of hijacked Flight 93 in western Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.
"It cannot ease our pain, or bring back our loved ones," he said in a statement. "It does bring a measure of comfort that the mastermind of the September 11th tragedy and the face of global terror can no longer spread his evil."