Sign makers thought message was 'traditional and patriotic'
As Victor Thomas, 26, and three of his buddies watched the news of Osama bin Laden's death last night and saw the celebrations in Washington, D.C., and New York, they wanted to be part of something in Batavia.
So they jumped in a car and drove downtown.
"The City of Batavia was dead," Thomas said. "Not one person was out. Nobody was honking horns or celebrating."
So, Thomas, along with his cousin Christopher Thomas, 26, Ordy Edwards, 26, and Jason Armison, 24, decided to drive to the only place open to buy sign materials -- Walmart -- and get a board and some paint and fix up a sign.
They made a red, white and blue sign and painted on it, "Osama Got Obama'd."
He said they then mused for about 20 minutes on where to place the sign. They thought about putting it in front of the courthouse to represent justice, but then they did a little research on Emery Upson and discovered one of his specialities as a general was tactics in invading enemy territory. That made the Upson Monument, they thought, the perfect place to commemorate Osama's sudden demise in a protected compound in Pakistan.
Now they're a little upset that county workers took the sign down -- Christopher Thomas happened to be driving by at the time and retrieved the sign -- and are planning a rally at 4 p.m. in front of the Post Office.
Victor said anybody wanting to show support for freedom of speech or the United States should attend.
Thomas has seen the comments on The Batavian and is surprised that some have taken the sign as a partisan political statement.
"There was no thought about politics," Thomas said. "They both have O's, Osama and Obama. We didn't take it in a political way. He's our president and every soldier fighting is marching to his orders. They (some readers) took it as political and we just were trying to be traditional or patriotic."
He said he was worried the sign would be taken down, but was hoping it would stay up today so people could drive by and honk their horns, "just to give some kind of recognition to what happened on 9/11 and what our troops are doing."
Photo courtesy WBTA.