Local residents react to the killing of Osama bin Laden
By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford Springs - posted Thu., May. 5, 2011
On May 2 and 3, the ReminderNews visited the Middle Ground Cafe and the Stafford Senior Center, both located in Stafford Springs, to hear what local residents were saying about the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan. The question asked was, “How did you first hear about the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden, and what was your initial reaction?”
“I was awake last night just when the president did his announcement. I didn't see the announcement, but I saw a rumor on gmail that he was going to make an announcement that Osama bin Laden was captured and killed. Then, this morning I started to read some stuff, and I thought, 'Well, isn't it strange that Osama bin Laden gets killed just when things are getting hot with Obama's next election?'” said Stafford resident and filmmaker Roger Ingraham. Ingraham said that he thinks the announcement about the capture and killing of Hitler was also released on May 1.
“I found out here [Middle Ground Cafe] at the table," said Bryan Grossbauch, a Florida resident who is visiting a friend in Stafford. "I didn't know about it previously. I just thought, 'So what?' I feel like it's not important whether he was killed or not. I feel like the intention to harm America exists in the minds of many people over there, and so I think that's really the issue. Changing that perspective would be more important than just killing one person. I don't like to celebrate anybody being killed, but it would be much better if somebody like bin Laden would change their mind about America and they would not want to kill us.”
“We have friends in New York City. I'm thrilled that people are getting a little bit of closure," said retired Stafford resident Kay Milam. "For myself, it's a little bit of closure. He was using women as a shield. This reminds me of how Hitler prepared a place with his favorite woman, and then stood up to the guns."
“I was watching the ballgame at home, and they announced it over the air. I was delighted. I was overjoyed. I had some distant friends that were killed in the twin towers. I thought it was just horrible. I was on my way to New York City when that happened,” said U.S. veteran and retired teacher Price Milam.
“I didn't know until all of a sudden last night [Monday], when they showed a 9/11 story on the news. For all those people who lost someone on 9/11, they must have felt some closure, somehow – as much as you can really feel when you've lost someone. It must be reassuring to them,” said Kellie Fitzgerald, a Stafford resident.
Several other comments were made by Stafford residents. One Stafford resident felt that justice did not prevail because he does not believe Osama bin Laden had anything to do with the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and does not think that the whole truth has been told about Sept. 11. Another resident thinks that the government is using bin Laden as an excuse to "do what they want over there.”
Another resident and U.S. veteran feels that the forces who carried out the mission should be given full credit for the accomplishment, but not the president, saying that he “doesn't believe anything that comes out of Washington. I'm not sure he's really even dead.”
The general consensus among many residents is that they do not believe that the issue of terrorism is fully-resolved, but they are glad Osama bin Laden is gone now, although many think that he should have been captured and killed years ago. Many hope that the family and friends of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks can find some closure.