Sick Frat Party at Ground Zero

From today’s NY Times:

“If this means there is one less death in the future, then I’m glad for that,” said Mr. (Harry) Waizer, who was in an elevator riding to work in the north tower when the plane struck the building. He made it down the stairs, but suffered third-degree burns.

“But I just can’t find it in me to be glad one more person is dead, even if it is Osama Bin Laden.”

11 thoughts on “Sick Frat Party at Ground Zero

  1. Kate Kinser

    Bravo…I was trying to think of a metaphor to describe last night’s “USA” pep rally, and frat party it is. I also thought of the Midrash of God’s reaction to the Eguptians drowning in the sea: The angels celebrated, and God was crying in a corner.

  2. Cotton Fite

    I’m grateful if it means closure for some who lost loved ones on 9/11 and in other bombings, but the scene in Washington of people hanging on the White House fence, pumping their fists and yelling jubilantly was profoundly embarrassing. Is this our immaturity or is this empire, trumpeting its power?

  3. Marc Rosenberg

    On the one hand, it may not be “right” to take joy in the death of anyone, even a murderer like Osama. But on some level of Jewish law, isn’t it appropriate justice when a murder is killed to save others? Sometimes life gives us choices, none of which we like.

  4. ElaineM

    My reaction was one of disgust. It reminded me of those celebratory gatherings for lynchings in the South or scenes from revolutionary France when executions was an afternoon’s entertainment.

  5. Kate Tarasenko

    Watching the “celebrations” online last night, I was reminded of the demoralizing footage that was broadcast from the Middle East of men dancing in the streets after the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

    Rachel Maddow tweeted about being in the streets and hearing the “Star-Spangled Banner” being sung on one side of her while “Na-na-na-na-hey-hey-hey-goodbye” was being sung on the other side.

    (Also, not to diminish your point, but the word “sick” has been co-opted by the partying youth to mean “cool.” I would agree that there are those who think this jubilation is “sick,” but in a good way!)

  6. Jim Ridker

    Bin Laden’s death does not put me in a celebratory mood. Rather, it reminds me of the terrible losses suffered in our seemingly out-of-control “war on terror,” and the overwhelming challenge to enable all around the world to enjoy the freedoms that we have.

    During the Passover Seder, having dripped wine from our cups as we recall the ten plagues, we speak the following words:

    “Though we descend from those redeemed from brutal Egypt,
    And have ourselves rejoiced to see oppressors overcome,
    Yet our triumph is diminished
    By the slaughter of the foe,
    As the wine within the cup of joy is lessened
    When we pour ten drops for the plagues upon Egypt.”

  7. Joel Finkel

    I am not upset that people are rejoicing that a mass murderer is dead. Just listen to the 2nd movement Shostakovitch’s 10th Symphony, in which he dances on Stalin’s grave.

    What DOES upset me is the jingoism of these celebrations: the glorification of the U.S. state. This is the same state that helped create both bin Laden and the conditions that fertilized his movement.


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