'The killing of Osama bin Laden won't bring back our loved ones'
President of the Families of Flight 93 calls the announcement of bin Laden's death 'important news' for 9/11 families, saying he was always confident the al Qaida leader would be found.
The killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces announced on Monday, while bringing a measure of comfort, cannot bring back our loved ones, a brother of 9/11 victim said.
Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who masterminded the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States is dead and the U.S. had recovered his body, U.S. President Barack Obama said from Washington late Sunday.
"Justice has been made," Obama said in a heartfelt address from the White House, as he remembered the close to 3,000 people victims of the 2001 attacks.
President of the Families of Flight 93 Gordon Felt, speaking later Monday, called President Obama's announcement "important news for us, and for the world.
"It cannot ease our pain, or bring back our loved ones," he said in a statement. "It does bring a measure of comfort that the mastermind of the September 11th tragedy and the face of global terror can no longer spread his evil."
Felt, who lost his brother, Edward, in the crash of hijacked Flight 93 in western Pennsylvania, said by phone from Remsen, N.Y., early Monday that said he had always been confident that bin Laden would someday be caught or killed — but he feared he might never know about it.
"My greatest fear was that we would never know with certainty that bin Laden was actually dead," he said. "He could have died of natural causes, and we would never have known, or he could have been killed in a drone attack and his body not recovered. I think that the ability of our military to kill bin Laden but recover his body will help us all rest assured that he is really dead."
"To be quite frank, I am very happy that this man is dead," he said "I was always raised, obviously, never to hope for someone's death, but I'm willing to make an exception in this case. This man killed thousands of people of all races of all faiths, of all nationalities. He was evil personified, and our world is a better place without him."
Flight 93 was traveling from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when it was hijacked with the likely goal of crashing into the White House or Capitol, the 9/11 Commission found. Passengers fought back and the plane crashed into a field near rural Shanksville, about 65 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. All 33 passengers and seven crew members died.
Felt said he had not talked to other relatives of those who died on the plane, but would see them this weekend in Somerset, Pa., for a meeting of a federal advisory commission on a national memorial to be dedicated on the site. In September, on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, a memorial service for the victims is planned along with dedication of the memorial.
The news of bin Laden's death would not change the memorial service, he said.
"That occasion will be solemn. We regroup to mourn the death of our relatives," he said. "But at the dedication of the memorial, there may be a change in the tenor of the ceremony, knowing that bin Laden is dead and how hard our government has worked ... certainly will have an impact."