Families, First Responders Relieved, Grateful After Bin Laden's Death - NBC New York

Families, First Responders Relieved, Grateful After Bin Laden's Death



    Meeting Veterans’ Special Needs in Hospice
    Herman Maisonave, of the Queens borough of New York, holds up a sign as he joins those gathered by ground zero in New York as they react to the news of Osama Bin Laden's death early Monday morning May 2, 2011.

    People who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terror attacks are relieved and grateful following word that Osama bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces nearly 10 years after the tragedy.

    From families that lost relatives to emergency agencies that saw their members killed in the disaster, the collective emotion on Monday was a sense of solace and muted celebration.

    "This is the greatest thing that's happened in a long time, and a boost that this country sorely needed," said Sheila Langone, who lost two sons, Peter, a firefighter, and Tommy, a police officer.

    "This doesn't mean this country is out of danger yet -- we will have to be ever-vigilant," she told NBC New York.

    There was word Monday that officials buried bin Laden at sea; Langone called that "brilliant."

    "There will be no place for people to honor him," she said.

    Nancy Bernard, who lost her husband, David, said she is "happy, but it's hard to describe."

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    [NY] Tearful NYer: "For 10 Years We've Been Held Emotionally Hostage"
    Hordes of New Yorkers gather in the streets to reminisce and talk about the process of healing in the aftermath of news of Osama bin Laden's death.
    (Published Monday, May 2, 2011)

    "Nothing will bring my husband back," she added, "no matter how many people were at fault that we kill. Nothing brings him back."

    Kathy Healy, who lost her brother Paul Hamilton Geier, said her family was grappling with mixed emotions. Her 14-year-old niece, who lost her father as a small child, was upset and crying, and the family was concerned about retaliation attacks, she said.

    "It didn't make me feel elated and happy. It made me feel sad," Healy said. "Obviously we're happy he's gone, it's just a matter of -- it's poking the fire."

    Sally Regenhard, who lost her son, said her family is "very gratified that finally after 10 long years we finally have a modicum of justice. We feel it's better late than never."

    "I am really glad that man's evil is off this earth forever," said Charles Wolf, who lost his wife, Katherine.

    At the FDNY, which lost 343 of its members, Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said that "in firehouses throughout the city, our members are grateful for the news, and thankful to all the brave members of the U.S. military that had a role in this successful operation."

    At a SoHo firehouse that lost 11 members in the attacks, firefighters said Monday that "people are thrilled."

    "The entire FDNY shares this equally," said Lt. Ray O'Hanlon. "As a matter of fact, I think all of America shares this equally."

    For retired firefighter Paul Legrandia, the news of bin Laden's death brought a range of emotions.

    "It's a bit of a celebration, that we finally got this task out of the way," Legrandia said. "The emotional side is the fact that now I know that the families and friends have to relive this day again and it's going to be tough on them."

    The Port Authority, which lost 84 of its workers, said the killing of bin Laden "is one more step in the healing process for the families ... our resolve to rebuild the World Trade Center site in memory of all those we lost is stronger and more resilient than ever."