Families Have Mixed Emotions on bin Laden’s Death

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The news of Osama bin Laden's death brought joy and celebrations from the nation's capital to New York City's ground zero. But for families of 9/11 victims, there were mixed emotions.

Al and Maureen Santora lost their 23-year-old firefighter son, Christopher, 10 years ago on Sept 11. 

They were at home watching television when they heard the man who had orchestrated their son's death was dead.

"As we were watching TV, this interruption came on the news, and we just sat  in our chairs," Maureen Santora said. "We were just speechless. We didn't talk to each other. We didn't say, 'Wow, isn't this great?'"

"We just sat quietly together and we listened," she recalled. "And we've been married a while, so we kind of sensed how the other person feels."

Despite their outwardly subdued reaction, she said, "We were both very, very elated. We were thrilled that the day had finally come when the organizer of al-Qaeda finally met his demise and was finally killed."

Christopher was the couple's only son. 

"I guess all the people that I imagine, I'd like to think that all the people that were murdered, you know, out of hatred on September 11, are celebrating tonight," Maureen Santora said.

"They're just celebrating that good outweighed evil and evil was given a very swift blow tonight," she said.

Charles Wolf's wife, Katherine, was also killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. He says bin Laden's death is satisfying.

"I had chills for an hour or two, just tingling, tingling all over for an hour or two," he said. "It is a wonderful thing."

But for other 9/11 families, like Tom and Beverly Burnett whose son was part of the group of passengers that fought with their terrorist hijackers on United Flight 93, bin Laden's death is not the end of the story.

"I'm pleased that our military, the Navy SEALs, were able to get him, practiced, got the job done," she said. Still, she added, "I think it's just the first step."

Mary Fetchet, who lost her son during the World Trade attacks, said for her and many others their hearts will never completely heal.

"This is just one more milestone, but a challenge as our healing process is going to be life-long," she said.

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CBN News
Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.