Pictures, flowers, and American flags covered the gravesites of Buchanan High School graduates as dozens of friends and family members gathered to pray at the Clovis Cemetery. The prayer vigil was organized Sunday evening, shortly after President Obama announced Osama bin Laden had been killed. "We just want the boys to feel our presence, that justice has been done," said Buchanan graduate Beth Morelock.
Buchanan has lost eight former students to the war on terror, beginning with Jeremiah Baro and Jared Hubbard, who died in 2004. Jared's brother, Nathan, also died in 2007. Another Buchanan grad, Anthony Butterfield, is buried just a few feet away from the trio. Some of their friends had a bit of difficulty describing their feelings about bin Laden's death. "It doesn't bring anyone back, but it brings closure. Something on the war on the war on terror they were fighting for was concluded yesterday," said Buchanan graduate Greg Smith.
At the cemetery, reaction to the terrorist leader's death was complicated because the loved ones who attended are still grieving their own loss. Kevin Piercy's brother, Brian Piercy, died in Afghanistan last July. "I don't see Osama bin Laden's death as vengeance for my brother. As a soldier, it's just good to have this man, who's terrorized the U.S, who has terrorized the world and has caused so many problems, is gone," said Kevin Piercy.
With bin Laden out of the picture, Kevin Piercy is now concerned about what comes next. It's a sentiment shared by Keith Butterfield. He said his son lost his life trying to make a difference. Now, his thoughts are with those still fighting. "Hopefully, now is the beginning of the end. We can steadily get on top of it and finish it and bring everyone home," said Keith Butterfield.