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Photographer describes celebration outside White House following Osama bin Laden's death

Here are some words from AP photographer Charles Dharapak about his experience covering the scene at the White House:

I shot this photo around 1:30 a.m., when thousands of people had streamed into an area in front of the White House — waving U.S. flags if they had them — following President Barack Obama’s announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Revelers climbed trees and light posts and repeatedly sang the Star Spangled Banner and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. I think people felt the need to share a historic moment. I remember how hard it was to be away from home on Sept. 11, 2001 — I’m a native New Yorker, but I was on the other side of the world during that trying time, covering anti-American protests in Indonesia, Pakistan and the Middle East. Last night, I felt lucky to witness an outward display of emotion on Pennsylvania Avenue, with no sense of anger or chants of “justice served.” I sensed a feeling of collective relief that the man considered the symbol of “the enemy” had been vanquished.

Charles Dharapak / AP

Crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed.

Charles Dharapak / AP

Crowds climb trees and celebrate in Lafayette Park.

Charles Dharapak/AP

Crowds celebrate on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, early Monday, May 2, 2011, after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed.