WASHINGTON -- Among the hundreds who joyously gathered outside the White House early Monday morning to mark the death of Usama bin Laden was the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan told reporters in a conference call that he tried to hide his identity by taking off his glasses. He said it didn't work.

Levin was at an airport in Detroit Sunday night when he received a call from Defense Secretary Robert Gates informing him of the U.S. military operation and bin Laden's death. When he arrived in the Washington area around 2 a.m., he and his wife, Barbara, headed to the White House to see "the young people pouring their hearts out."

Levin said it was a moment all Americans wanted to participate in.

The Associated Press contributed to this report