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    Posted May 2, 2011 by
    New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    After bin Laden: What's next?

    mcintron and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: World reacts to Bin Laden death
    More from mcintron

    Ground Zero Spontaneous Celebration


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     mcintron says, 'I was at Ground Zero after midnight last night. It was exciting and moving to be there. I felt compelled to go after hearing the news. I was surprised at the size of the crowd that kept growing as I watched. It was a great experience and I was glad I went.' She also said, 'Hearing the news tonight, I felt a flashback and I felt like crying. Going downtown I spoke to the cabby about it and my voice broke. I couldn't believe how emotional the news made me. I wasn't prepared for that.'
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    There was no way I could stay home tonight. I thought I'd do that. That I'd watch the breaking news of Bin Laden's death on the news while connecting with friends on the social networking sites. But I couldn't sit still. As the news finally became real to me, I knew I had to grab my cameras and head downtown. My first thought was to Times Square, where masses were sure to linger after the theater to celebrate. But ultimately, the fact was I had to go further south. I needed to be at Ground Zero. On 9-11 I lived a mere five blocks away. Last night  brought up many feelings. I was flashing back to that day and that was unexpected. So I headed out the door, shocked at the lack of traffic and people on my Upper West neighborhood...


    Once downtown, the cabby luckily made a wrong turn and we ended up right next to Ground Zero in an area where they were no longer letting the public access. But I walked right on by the one cop who half-heartedly tried to stop those of us walking in past the barricades. He shrugged his shoulders. This was a special night.


    The crowds was obviously huge and loud and even from a block away, I could hear the chants. Later an officer told me they had closed Church Street from Barclay to Vessey, a total of about five blocks. I finally left at 2:30 AM. Even as I walked out past the barricades, people were arriving, hurrying to towards the crowd, wanting to be a part of history, and perhaps, wanting to reflect on 9-11 in the place where other, sadder history had been made.

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