Archive for the ‘Sikh American’ category

Moments that Define Nations: Sikhs join US victory celebrations at Ground Zero

May 3rd, 2011

Hundreds sang out “God Bless America” and “We are the Champions” in harmony. Girls were lifted onto shoulders holding flags and waving their hands in peace sign fashion. Signs were hoisted overhead reading “Obama 1 Osama 0,” and “Ding Dong Bin Laden’s Dead.”
A brave few climbed up on streetlights to dangle flags above the crowd and begin patriotic chants. Several non-Muslim Sikhs, who wear turbans, have also been targeted by mistake over the years, most recently two elderly Sikh men who died after being shot in March by an unknown assailant as they went for a stroll in their Sacramento suburb. Sikh Americans also joined in to celebrate the victory of good over evil. After yesterday’s announcement by President Obama that Osama Bin Laden was killed, thousands gathered across New York City to celebrate this victory. At Ground Zero, where the significance of this victory resonated most for New Yorkers, there was an array of emotions.

What began as a candlelight vigil and moment of silence at the place where the Twin Towers once stood quickly turned into a raging celebration. The noise of simultaneous chants and song could be heard blocks away. And the city echoed “U.S.A.” into the early hours of the morning as people continued to pour into the area.

While some cracked open beers, screamed, and jumped, others recognized the victory in a more solemn fashion. Pictures and signs of those lost during the September 11 attacks reminded the crowd of the nature of this victory. Fresh red roses, and white carnations were left in the gate that blocks off the construction zone. Tears of joy and sorrow streamed down peoples’ faces.

Yet, even for those who could not be in New York or Washington, D.C., where celebrations also took place, social media networks helped people express their sentiments. Photos and updates from the celebrations, as well as content related to Osama’s death, swept across the Internet. No matter where you were last night, it is evident that you felt Proud to be American.


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