WASHINGTON, D.C. – Like many NHL teams, the Washington Capitals pay tribute to their armed services during a stoppage of play at each home game. And this being the U.S. capital, it brings a spirited and genuine reaction from the crowd.
Little did they know while suffering through their team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that the city was about to erupt in a very public, very real display of celebration.
When news of Osama Bin Laden’s death swept through the Verizon Center less than an hour after the game, the press room that is normally filled with writers busy on deadline, erupted with the buzz of a story so meaningful to Americans.
For me, that meant a quick file and hustling down to the White House to gather some reaction for the Sun. By the time I got there, hundreds had already gathered in numbers growing by the minute. Cars honked their horns. People chanted and sang and waved American flags. Strangers hugged.
What you saw on TV, didn’t do the scene justice. For better or worse, there isn’t much Americans do better than celebrate their patriotism. This was their night and to be at the gates of the White House as the celebration unfolded was a stirring moment.