Many 'glad' that Osama's finally gone

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More than two-fifths of the people asked about Osama bin Laden's forced exit from the world stage used similar words to describe their reaction. They're glad he's dead, gone, buried at sea and that he was killed.

"He deserved it," Keith Bigham, 57, of Delina commented about the death of the al-Qaida mastermind who reacted gleefully to the 9/11 terror attacks that killed thousands of people nearly a decade ago. "I'm glad they killed him."

Emily Whitesell, 61, of Lewisburg said bin Laden "got what he deserved," and like others, she doesn't feel safer because Navy SEALs shot the al-Qaida leader in the head; "That's got more to do with what the U.S. is doing... Now that he's dead, forget about him."

Bigham agreed with his friend, Sam Craig, 58, of Liberty Valley.

"It does provide closure for the people of New York," Craig said. "There's a bit of revenge there... I am proud of the way they disposed of the body."

Bin Laden was buried within 24 hours of his death in accordance with Islamic tradition. Bin Laden was buried at sea.

Harry Holton, 63, of Locust Avenue, reacted like Craig.

"If they brought him back, they'd have come here, dug him up and made a martyr out of him," Holton said.

As for Holton's wife, Trish, he said she was "glad" the news broke Sunday night after the royal wedding in England.

"She couldn't handle two big things like that at the same time," he said.

Also "glad" bin Laden is dead was Kay Richards, a life-long Lewisburg resident who said, "someone will take his place." His death "will make the people of New York feel better that he paid for his crime."

Barbara Baird and her sister-in-law, Margaret, both of Smyrna, used the word "glad;" about bin Laden being gone and buried.

"The soldiers need the glory" for the mission, Barbara Baird said. Margaret Baird said, "Everybody will remember where they were" when informed of bin Laden's death.

Phillip George, of Smyrna, who owns a farm on New Columbia Highway, is "glad they got him," but notes, "somebody else will step into his place...

"The symbolic impact is a real shot in the arm for the Obama Administration... I probably should say a boost to the administration," George said.

Dani Bernimi, a former exchange student at the George household, works for TAM Airline in Brazil and saw consequences for the travel industry and its clients: "They'll probably have to be more restrictive in the next few months. Of course, it's a good thing that he's dead."

George's daughter, Ali, 22, is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and she agreed with her father that the U.S. military action that led to bin Laden's death has great symbolic value.

"You know," she said, "like when President Bush said we'd never rest until we had his head...

"It's good for morale," she continued. "It's going to be a good thing for the Obama Administration."

Ali George was also concerned about retaliation; as was Terry Tolson of Ed Watson Road who described the attempted capture of bin Laden and his subsequent death as "a pretty major event."

Her son, Matthew Volk, 25, is stationed with the U.S. Air Force in Germany.

Bin Laden's death gave Tolson some "relief," but she wonders, "What are we up against?" \Still, she concluded, "I really am glad he's dead."

Eighteen people were interviewed at Mildred's Restaurant on North Ellington Parkway at midday Monday.