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Monday, May 2, 2011

Reaction Both Joyous and Cautious to Bin Laden Death

Reaction Both Joyous and 
Cautious to Bin Laden Death:
Commuters, downtown workers 
and students share thoughts
(Posted to 5/2)
By Mike Lauterborn
© 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Fairfield, CT – The news traveled quickly that al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden, who directed the attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001 that killed over 3,000 people, had been killed in an operation in Pakistan. In coffee shops, on the streets and at the downtown train station, area people were abuzz about the news. Mostly, there was jubilance, but also caution and some surprise.

“I just heard it this morning on my way to get coffee,” said Allen Wallace of Fairfield. “I’m very surprised and happy. It’s been a long time coming. For a lot of people, there’s some degree of closure but I don’t think it will alter things a lot. There are probably others that have already taken his place and will continue on. But there’s nothing else that’s a more symbolic victory.”

Collecting a coffee at Las Vetas Lounge, Yash Egami of Fairfield said, “I heard it on the radio this morning and thought it was good news. At the same time, the war on terror is not about one person anymore. I’m worried about the consequences and am still a little skeptical. They claimed they killed him before. I think killing someone like Osama Bin Laden is a Band-Aid on the problem. It doesn’t get to the root of hatred. Attitudes really need to change. America needs to do a better job of understanding other cultures and Islam.”

Matthew Connelly, a Fairfield Preparatory student from Trumbull, said he first learned of the news through a New York Times twitter feed. “It’s definitely good news, and brings a lot of joy to families that had loved ones lost in the 9/11 attacks,” he said. “But this shouldn’t be seen as an end to the conflict in the Middle East, which is what a lot of people are thinking.”

Georgia Lyn of Fairfield, who was rushing to catch a train, expressed caution. “It took them almost 10 years to get him,” she said. “What does this mean for us in terms of politics in Pakistan?”

Commuter Grayson Craddock hadn’t yet heard the news. as he was about to board a morning train. “I’m shocked!” he said. “Bush is going to be pissed!”

Newspaper vendor Fanos Ayana, of Bridgeport, was studying a story about the attack and said, “I’m so surprised about it and also happy because I wouldn’t want anything like Sept. 11 to happen again. It was a crazy time. I want there to be peace, but I’m worried that his allies might retaliate.”

Though she was too young to remember 9/11, 13-year-old Page Jones of Fairfield was happy about the news. “My dad woke me up this morning to tell me as I was getting ready for school. Hopefully there’s going to be peace.”

Fairfielder Lisa Gander was of the cautious set, saying, “My initial reaction was relief, yet cautiously optimistic. There’s retaliation that you think of. It’s a shame that so many lives had to be lost to get to this point. Everyone thinks of 9/11. Because he’s gone doesn’t mean the second man in command won’t take over.”

Hurrying to her downtown office, Sabrina Duk of Hamden said she’d heard the news on Facebook. “The most common comment I saw was ‘Proud to be an American,’ she said. “I’m not sure what to think about the situation. It’s 10 years later, we’ve spent so much money on the situation and lost so many lives. But the combination of this death with the royal wedding is a morale boost the country needed.”

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