Look closely at that video of the spontaneous celebration that broke out outside the White House Sunday night and into Monday morning, and you might just spy none other than Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and his wife there cheering along and singing songs with the crowd that organically gathered in large numbers on Pennsylvania Avenue on the north side of the White House by Lafayette Park to cheer the death of the terrorist, Usama bin Laden, who killed so many Americans.
"We saw it and heard about it," the chairman recounted. Returning to Washington Sunday night, Levin said he told his wife, Barbara, 'You know what, let's go down.' And the two ventured to the White House around 2 a.m. EDT to celebrate.
"It was a moment that all Americans wanted to participate in. Not just Americans...It was a real outpouring around the world, an outpouring of justice being arrived at. It took a long time," Levin said. "Barb and I wanted to just go in, soak it in...It was just a place we felt we wanted to participate in."
And despite the chairman's crafty efforts to conceal his identity and blend in with the crowd, removing his trademark glasses usually perched precariously on the end of his nose, that "didn't quite work," the chairman noted. Plenty of people recognized him and snapped pictures with him, with one young man, Alexander Martone, even e-mailing a copy of one of the photos to the senator's wife.
Levin met another man who he said told him his father was working at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, though he was not injured in the terrorists attacks that destroyed the towers.
"It was emotional for him. It was emotional for all Americans," Levin recalled.