The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



God, Country, Notre Dame

Johnny Whichard | Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Last night, the world discovered Osama bin Laden was finally hunted down and killed. Notre Dame’s campus exploded in revelry and the campus was the most patriotic that I have seen it. Amongst all the celebration and renditions of “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” and Team America’s theme song, it is important to see how this event has affected some of our peers. If you haven’t had the honor of meeting my roommate let me introduce you to him.

His name is Robert Dolan III but everybody calls him “Beau.” Beau is a fantastic Roman Catholic family man. He has a loving mother and a wonderful sister. Beau is a true Irishman and proves it through his academic prowess. He is a great Otter in Sorin College and even helped the Otters take the Inter-hall football championship.

Underlying all these things, Beau has had to live without his father since 9/11. Beau’s father was killed in the Pentagon on 9/11 and his life was obviously shaken tremendously. This tragedy has forced Beau to be above and beyond whatever an ordinary son or brother should be. He has held his family together as the only man of the house for almost 10 years. In September of this year, Beau struggled with the fact that it was the half-way point in his life where he had his father for less than half of his life. Last night, however, as America triumphed over the death of one significant antagonist, Beau rose to a whole new level.

Beau joined in with the rest of Notre Dame in celebrating the death of the man responsible for his father’s death, but once the celebration reached the Golden Dome, Beau felt moved to speak. Beau, at the feet of Mary the Mother of God, spoke to hundreds of fellow Irish men and women and told them what this death meant to his family. Beau glowed with patriotism: he spoke his beliefs, his love for America. Toward the end of his triumphant moment, Beau held a moment of silence. He brought the Irish community together and made “God, Country, Notre Dame” a reality.

Osama is in God’s hands now. Beau has found at least a degree of peace in the death of the most infamous mass murder that America has known personally. For one night, I saw my roommate glow with joy knowing that the man who tore his life apart on 9/11/01 could never again harm another human being.

Now that Osama is dead, I worry about my sister and the retaliation she may face in Afghanistan in the next few months, but I trust in God to do His will — nothing more and nothing less. God bless the Dolan family. God bless the troops fighting terror for the sake of freedom. God bless the Catholic hub of Notre Dame. And lastly, of course, God bless the light of freedom in the world: The United States of America.

Johnny Whichard


Sorin College

May 2