Local stores saw an increase in flag sales following the death of Osama bin Laden. (May 2, 2011 / WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 11 o'clock / Monday, May 2, 2011
AUGUSTA---With the news of Osama bin Laden's death comes a rise in patriotism. A lot of Augusta neighbors are raising their flags and shopping for more.
Images of Americans celebrating justice are all over. Some celebrated in the streets of Washington, D.C. and others in Times Square. In North Augusta, some people celebrated at home while watching the news.
"I don't think I can talk about this without crying, but this is a closure for us, and that part of it is very exciting," said GiGi Neel. Neel's dad was an Army engineer, so the flag has always has extra special meaning for her. "This is freedom. It's justice."
Charles Eubank joined the Marines in the 60s, and he's proud of his country. "I feel like I'd like to be there, to be a part of it.," he said. But since he wasn't able to be part of the mission, he finds peace in what he believes is happening. "I believe he is getting his just reward."
And according to Brandon, a store clerk at Lowe's, flag sales have increased from 10 to 15%. "Normally we actually fill the shelves once at the end of the night, but due to the situation I'm having to actually restock the shelves probably three times today." Brandon says when he and his buddies saw people stocking up, he knew why they were there. "Everyone pretty much knows why: to support USA." The popular flag of the day was the larger one that people can hang outside their home.
Once in the store, Gigi made a beeline to the flags. "I was so excited when I walked in here and saw this whole big display of the flags," she said. Gigi says she feels morale has gone down, and she says the country needed this. "I saw a motorcycle a while ago with a huge flag on, going, yes, yes, that's wonderful." She says she hopes this feeling of patriotism continues...and if it does, it may keep Brandon busy restocking for the next few weeks.
Gigi says that as much as she'd like to think that bin Laden's death means the wars will end, she doesn't think that will happen. But she says the fact that the US got him is a major victory.
Lots of local stores sell signs and very large flags. People wanting a quick purchase seem to be heading for Lowe's or stores like Walmart.