Students of Stonehill React to Bin Laden's Death
May 03, 2011
by Jessica Branco
Taunton Daily Gazette
Michael Astuccio looked outside his Stonehill College dorm room window Sunday night after hearing about the death of Osama bin Laden.
"People were riding bikes with vuvuzelas in their hands, chanting ‘America!' over and over again," Astuccio, a sophomore, said. "Cars were also circling the roadways, honking and cheering at the top of their lungs."
His next-door neighbor hung an American flag t-shirt over the room's window, Astuccio recalled.
"It was exciting to see some people out celebrating what is a good day for our country," he said.
Astuccio said he learned of the death while he was checking CNN's website, something he does almost every day.
Ryan McMahon, a Long Island native, learned bin Laden was dead when he was flipping through television channels and the breaking news flashed onto the screen.
"I was so proud. Now more than ever, I'm proud to be an American and a New Yorker," McMahon, a history major, said.
Inside another Stonehill dorm, Laura Bercume was celebrating her 21st birthday when she heard the big news.
"A group of us were hanging out in my dorm room when we heard bin Laden was killed," Bercume said. "My friend saw it on the internet, and we then immediately turned on the television.
"It's great news," she added. "Anyone who has killed that many people deserves to be killed (himself)."
Nicole Lyons, a junior double majoring in elementary education and English, shared that sentiment.
"My father enlisted shortly after 9-11 because he felt it was his duty," Lyons said. "He served for one year, and I think anyone who went through or is going through an experience like that now is probably feeling the same sense of closure or justice that I felt Sunday night."
Stonehill junior Nora Sweeney learned the news via social networking while studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland.
"I woke up and checked my Facebook, and saw that listed as everyone's status," Sweeney said. "Because of the five hour time difference, it was announced at about 3:30 a.m., Dublin time.
"I didn't know how to react, it didn't seem real. Mostly, I just wish I was back in America to experience it," Sweeney said. "People knew about it here, but it just didn't have the same significance."
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