Saw this article on the crowds gathering on the night Osama died, just wanted to point this out: Bin Laden's Great Mistake: What Osama Never Understood About the American Spirit When President Barack Obama announced on May 1 that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I was among those who headed to the White House. The mood in Lafayette Square was joyous, ebullient, cathartic ? though hardly the bacchanal of vengeful jingoism that some in the media have portrayed it to be, or an expression of "orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed" as David Sirota claimed on Salon.com. An outsider would have been struck by the crowd's diversity, by now so familiar to Americans that we barely notice it. I'd guess that a plurality of the flag wavers were white, but I saw plenty of exuberant black, Asian, Latino and multiracial faces too. An elated young Muslim American, wearing a headscarf, enthused to a television crew about the sense of unity and belonging she felt with those around her. The whole scene would have bewildered bin Laden as much as it would have repelled him. And it goes a long way toward explaining why his war on America was doomed to fail. ... That was the culture ? the country ? on display that night in Lafayette Square. It was a young, college-age crowd. Many were children of immigrants who arrived during the wave of the '90s, members of "the generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden" since 9/11, in Obama's words. What bin Laden never understood is that, whatever the body blows suffered over the past decade, American society retained its capacity to renew itself. The U.S. was able not only to sustain the long war but also to produce innovations that have changed the world: Google Earth, the iPhone, Facebook, Twitter. America today is probably a less open and less confident nation than it was on 9/11. But it has become a more youthful, more diverse and more dynamic one as well.