Michael Saidian, 21, was only in sixth grade when the Twin Towers fell. At the time, he said he felt afraid and unprotected. Now, nearly a decade later, with the news Sunday that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. military operatives in Pakistan, the New York University student said he finally feels a sense of closure.
“It was really a moment where I felt some joy and I felt some closure for everything that happened in 9/11,” he told MTV News.
His sentiments were echoed by other students interviewed at New York University’s campus Monday afternoon, many of whom were too young to understand the events of September 11, 2001, but still remember the event that marked their generation.
Olivia Morris, a freshman at NYU, who was in fourth grade at the time of the World Trade Center attacks, said she felt a wave of frenzied energy and excitement when her roommates relayed the news that Bin Laden had been killed.
“I feel that, as a generation and having really grown up with this being perpetuated for 10 years, it’s a sense of not only victory, but taking back what was taken from us,” Morris said.
Aakash Bhatia, a freshman at the school from Princeton, New Jersey, said he and his roommates went to Ground Zero after hearing the news of Bin Laden’s death.
“After all these years, when I heard what had happened, it hit me directly too, because I was such a kid and I saw all the things changed as a result of 9/11. … The whole track of the nation was altered by this momentous event, and I was there to witness that from the beginning,” he said.
Bhatia added that, while the death of Bin Laden signifies an end to one chapter of 9/11, it’s not a resolution to terrorism in general.
“I think this moment does represent closure to some degree, but there is so much more in the war on terror, in stopping al Qaeda, in protecting our nation’s borders, that I feel as though this is definitely a certain step, but it’s certainly not the end.”
How did the news of Osama bin Laden’s death affect you? Let us know in the comments.