Local Military Officials Share Thoughts on Osama bin Laden's Death
Residents react to the news, one calls it a "victory" for U.S. troops.
Local military personnel and veterans were happy to hear the news that Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11, the worst terrorist attack on American soil, is dead.
National Guard Second Lt. Richard Dunkley, of Linden, saw the reports on the news.
“I think it’s a victory,” he said. “I’m assuming the troops are celebrating to a degree.”
Dunkley organized a Fallen Soldier March last month from Linden, through Fenton, to the Great Lakes Cemetery in Holly to honor those that had died in battle. Nearly 200 Michigan soldiers have died during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
“For a lot of soldiers and their families it’s going to add closure,” Dunkley said.
He added, however, that the fight is not over.
“I was relieved to hear the news, but I am concerned with retaliation as well,” Dunkley said. “We still have a lot to do. We still have to fight against the Taliban and the other terrorist groups out there.”
Wayne Peterson, of Fenton, who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, shared Dunkley’s concern.
“I’m glad to see they finally got him, but there is always one waiting to take over,” he said. “So hopefully this will slow them down enough to where we can take the rest of them."
President Barack Obama told the nation just before 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
The president said bin Laden was killed Sunday in a strike in Pakistan, almost 10 years after the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 civilians on Sept. 11, 2001. No Americans were harmed in the strike. Bin Laden's body was taken into U.S. custody, Obama said.
"His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity," Obama said.
The president also added that, "Justice has been done."
Obama indicated that officials have been operating on tips of bin Laden's whereabouts since August. He called bin Laden a "symbol" and "leader" of al-Qaida, the terrorist group responsible for the attacks on the United States. Obama said when he became president, he instructed officials that the "killing or capture of Osama bin Laden" was a top priority.
“I’m glad he’s gone,” said U.S. Army Vietnam veteran Jerry Skinner, of Fenton.