Osama bin Laden is dead. Many in the New York/Metro area reacted to this news initially with joy, followed by dread. Just because bin Laden is dead does not mean that terror is dead. I spoke with a few friends and family members of mine who live in the tri-state area, as well as my brother who lived in southern Fairfield County, Connecticut, on 9/11 and served his country in the U.S. Army in Iraq. I tried to gauge their reaction to the news and to how they felt about New York City. Would this news of possible unrest make them less likely to frequent Manhattan? Or would they be emboldened? The views are mixed and somewhat surprising.
Alan Schmitt (US Army Signal Support Systems Specialist – 2003-2009. Served in Iraq for 18 months. Lived in CT 9/11/01 ‘” Currently in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina): “My first instinct was to be excited that we finally had some kind of closure about the man who admitted to orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. Being surrounded by military people for so long, it’s easy to adapt the big macho attitude about how I wish I was the one who shot the b*stard, and I’m so happy he’s dead. But, thinking a little deeper, I’m not so sure. First of all, there’s the idea of retaliation from his successors. Second, you need to think that he knew this day would come eventually, and he’s a smart guy, so I have a feeling he has a plan in action to continue his terror after he’s passed on. I guess the way I feel is that it’s not the best reaction to say, ‘I’m glad he’s dead,’ because that’s adding more negativity to a situation that’s got plenty of hatred. All we can do is hope that this will make the situation better to the point where we can at least pull out of the Middle East.”
Kelly Houston (Manhattan) “I don’t feel safer or less safe. Osama will only be replaced by his number 2. They have been trying to get us for the past 10 years, I don’t think the death of Osama will suddenly mean there will be a new attack.”
Jared Ross (New Britain CT): “The open comments/replies over the last 24 hours on Facebook have been, for the most part, extremely shortsighted, closed minded, and showing an extreme lack of empathy in my opinion. Basically, it’s been leaving me wide eyed and openmouthed. I think the only thing that the elimination of OBL brought, was a much needed helping of closure. Not total and complete closure, but a sense that some justice had been served. I’m just a Photoshop jockey who moonlights as a DJ on the weekends. I’m no political expert, so I won’t pretend to know how secure we will or won’t be from future attacks. All I can say for certain is that we no longer have to worry about a particular madman spreading his own personal brand of insanity.”
Theresa Bertucci (born Brooklyn, NY/currently living in Williamsport PA. On being afraid to live in NYC:) “Never…. Born and raised in NY. Would move back in a heartbeat. Worried about threats? Of course. Just have to be safe and aware, but no terrorist b*stard who has killed my family members and lives of so many innocent is going to threaten me!”
Cheryl Burns (Windsor/Danbury CT): “I’m torn. You want to be happy that our soldiers found who they’ve been looking for, for years, but at the same time, we’re celebrating death in the streets like barbarians and it doesn’t make us any different than terrorists if we get excited about bloodshed. It’s disturbing. I’m sure that organization has someone waiting in the ranks to continue their assaults. We aren’t safe. I also think it’s ridiculous that a man in an office thousands of miles from the scene of the mission would get credited for succeeding when our men & women in arms have been out there trying to carry this out long before he got into office. Not to mention that he’s not a military tactical defense general or a soldier, so essentially he’s just a messenger but someone’s death could ‘solidify’ a second term after all the complaints about him regarding the things he actually has more of a hand in? Blind ignorance on the part of our citizens. I’m scared for our country and I’m scared for our troops. Retaliation is something that is likely & real. Who knows if they even killed the real deal? Killing one doesn’t remove the threat. I never know what to believe anymore so I don’t believe much of anything.”
Kate Schmitt (Amityville, NY): “Special ops have tiger blood.”