Though the news of Osama bin Laden's death induced celebrations around the streets of Times Square late last night, for some Rockville Centre families who lost loved ones on that tragic Sept. 11th morning, the feeling of joy was fleeting. The death of the al-Qaeda leader still doesn't bring their families back.
In all, 48 village residents were killed in the World Trade Center terrorist attack.
President Barack Obama confirmed on Sunday night that 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan a week ago. The President added that American officials were in possession of his body.
RVC resident Cathy Geyer, whose husband James was killed on 9/11, said her initial reaction to the news was mixed. On one hand, she said she was glad that justice was served, but the death of bin Laden did nothing to ease the pain of losing James.
"I thank God that justice was served in the country," Geyer said. "They know they can't do harm to us and get away with it. Personally, my loss is as big as it was on Sept. 11. It hasn't fulfilled anything for me. It doesn't bring my husband...my children's father back."
Geyer added that she was happy that U.S. forces killed bin Laden and that he didn't end his own life.
Kathy Tighe lost her husband, Stephen, and brother Tim O'Brien that September Tuesday morning. She too said she had mixed emotions after hearing the news late last night: a moment of relief, followed by a brief wave of fear.
"My initial reaction was relief, but fearful," she said. "We don't know what he's left behind."
Bin Laden's death, however, didn't put an end to the ten years of suffering she's endured since losing her husband and brother. "There is no closure whatsoever," she said. "It doesn't bring them back. I'm happy [bin Laden] will rot in hell. It still hurts after ten years and [Stephen] is not coming back."
Tighe said she spoke to her brother this morning, who shared her sentiments. "He had the same reaction as me," she said. "It doesn't bring any closure, but we're happy to know he's gone."
Stephen, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, had a village soccer field near Mill River named in his honor in 2003. Tighe was a former RVC soccer club player, board member and coach. Tim was also an RVC soccer club athlete.
Gary Condor, former Rockville Centre Fire Department chief, reached the World Trade Center shortly after the second tower collapsed. He said that though he felt a bit of closure after hearing the news of bin Laden's death, America needs to remain vigilant in the war on terrorism.
"You get a little bit of closure from it," he said. "But this is not the end of it. We need to stay on top of this for a long time and not drop our guard."
Claire Logler, who lost her daughter Beth, visited the village's 9/11 memorial this morning. She said she stops by once a week to place fresh flowers there alongside a picture of her daughter. Beth was 31 then, and planned to get married that December.
Claire said she attended a 9/11 memorial ceremony in Hempstead 10 years ago and met former President George W. Bush. He asked her what he could do for her. She told him, "Get bin Laden."
Ten years later, her plea was answered.