Vermonters Recall 9/11, React To Bin Laden’s Death

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Across the country and in Vermont, people were struggling to make sense of the news from Pakistan, reacting today to the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death.

Frannie Hall, 23, of Burlington was just 13-years-old on September 11, 2001. She says now that she’s a little bit older she can better understand the meaning of that day. She says the death of bin Laden is "a good time for Americans" and a "a time for celebration."

But Lee Noyes, 67, of Plattsburgh, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection employee, says we shouldn’t be out in the street dancing. When the planes struck the Twin Towers, Noyes says he was on the job at the border. "It was the only time in my 30-year career that we shut down the port of entry at Champlain. People died that day — over 3,000 people. So I think that’s the perspective that we now have to have."

"It was my first week of work, I remember that because I was thinking: how do I call in sick for this?" recalls Jill Leininger of Johnson. "But we were really physically sick." Leininger says the death of bin laden brings some closure to the terrorist attack. "I’m also relieved that perhaps it will be easier politically to be extricating ourselves from the situation."

Vicki Strong of Irasburg is a Gold Star Mother for whom bin Laden’s death has, in part, brought closure. Her son Jesse served as a marine in Iraq. He graduated from boot camp just two weeks before September 11, and was killed in battle on January 26, 2005.

"Ever since that date there’s always that elusive figure in the background for those of us whose sons and daughters have served. So I was shocked last night when I heard the news that I had this sense of relief and an extreme sense of peace."

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