As the Patch editors look back at 2011, they are picking the biggest news stories of last year.
Benjamin Paulin, Dover-Sherborn Patch Editor-The biggest news event of the year would have to be the death of Osama bin Laden. Not only did it help to bring some semblance of closure to the countless victims he affected but it also helped shift the focus toward the importance of our military and all they do overseas. Seal Team 6 gave us a glimpse of how ordinary men and woman from the United States can do extraordinary things in the face of danger.
Michael Hardman, Regional Editor, Attleboro Patch Editor-The weather was the biggest story of the year and it showed how faulted our infrastructure in the area has been become with the lack of power, buildings and road conditions. We also learned how much people have developed the ability to connect through social media. We were also reminded from the random acts of kindness that people are still there for each other in tough times.
Patrick Maguire, Easton Patch Editor-In a year where a lot happened, including Occupy Wall Street, the Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the end of the War in Iraq, no event was bigger than the death of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden's death, while it may not have put an end to the War on Terror, provided closure for many and ended a search that had lasted 10 years. Historians will look back on Bin Laden's death as a pivotal moment in our nation's National Security.
Jeffrey Pickette, Stoughton Patch Editor-A theme in 2011 was extreme weather. Tornadoes, tsunamis, earthquakes--you name it. Locally, southern New England was walloped with one snow storm after another to start 2011, forcing schools to quickly use up their allotment of snow days. Tornadoes ravaged western Mass in June. Then, at the end of the summer, Irene hit, and while she was just a tropical storm when she arrived in Massachusetts, she knocked out power for days in some communities. A rare snowstorm before Halloween also knocked out power for many across the region. 2011 may be the year local residents remember spending in the dark and wondering why the utility companies were taking so long to restore their power.
Mike Gleason, Wrentham Patch Editor-The clear top story in 2011 was the death of Osama bin Laden. The al-Qaeda leader presented a clear threat to the world, and his death was greeted by an outpouring of emotion — people gathered in front of the White House, near Ground Zero, anywhere they could. It's rare to see a news story provoke such a reaction.
Kelly Mello, Norton Patch Editor-When Seal Team Six took out Osama Bin Laden. Though taking another human life shouldn't necessarily be something to celebrate, American's have been waiting for justice for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and finally got it. Bin Laden eluded troops for years, and it's a relief to know he is gone.
Jeremie Smith, Medfield Patch Editor-Speaking of SEAL Team 6, the biggest news of 2011 has to be Osama bin Laden’s death in May, which coincidentally occurred four months before the 10th Anniversary of Sept. 11. It was news that broke late at night and led to celebration around the country as many Americans celebrated SEAL Team 6 and the death of a man who posed as a major threat to our country’s safety and freedom.
Kelly Glista, Norwood Patch Editor- There were a lot of major news events this year, but one of the biggest I'd have to say was the death of Osama Bin Laden. Obviously there were national and international ramifications, as well as months of follow up - both factual and completely speculative. Also, without it I doubt the President would have been able to keep his promise to bring the troops home, which was another major event of the year.
Michael Gelbwasser, Sharon Patch Editor-Osama bin Laden's death. One of those moments where we'll always remember where we were. And to happen the same year of the 10th anniversary of 9-11 ...