Vermonters With Ties To 9-11 Reflect On Latest News

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(Zind) Vermonters with ties to the events of 9-11 responded to the killing by American forces of Osama bin Laden. 

As VPR’s Steve Zind reports, there was a range of reactions.

(Zind) Don Goodrich’s 33 year old son, Peter, died aboard United Airlines Flight 175, which struck the south tower of the World Trade Center.

Goodrich said that he’s thinking about those who died in the 2001 attacks.  And Goodrich says he sees no reason to celebrate.  

(Goodrich) "It is not a matter that I think should be cheered. It is a necessary and certainly well justified act for which I am very grateful to those who put their lives at enormous risk in Pakistan."

(Zind) Goodrich and his late wife, Sally, established a foundation in their son’s name, which has worked to help educate young Afghans. 

Goodrich says it’s important to address what he feels are the social problems that contribute to terrorism. 

(Goodrich)  "I just hope that Osama bin Laden’s death will be put in the larger context of the continuing effort to avoid and diminish the underlying conditions for terrorism:  illiteracy, poverty dysfunctional institutions."

(Zind) Tunbridge resident Rose Loving’s partner, Tom Stone, died while serving in the Vermont National Guard in Afghanistan.  Loving also says she didn’t feel elation or closure when she heard the news of bin Laden’s death.

(Loving) "Just thinking about not only Tom but all the people involved and all the deaths and all the families that have been dealing with their own grief for years." 

(Zind)  As a member of the Air Force Reserve, former Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie was detailed to New York City in the aftermath of the attacks. 

But for Dubie, there was also a very personal side to the tragedy.  His close friend John Oganowski was a pilot on one of the hijacked planes. 

(Dubie) "I’m feeling some closure for myself and people who work in the airlines sector and most important I’m feeling closure for families.  This has been kind of an open wound, really, and now that there’s some justice, some emotional closure to a really sad day in America‘s history, that’s what I’m feeling."

(Zind) University of Vermont professor Saleem Ali is a native of Pakistan.  Ali says when he learned of bin Laden’s death, he felt relief and concern.

(Ali)  "At one level, there was a reaction of relief that this criminal has been on the loose, that he’s finally been caught.  At another level, I was also troubled by the fact that he was caught in Pakistan and this would lead to further anti-Pakistan sentiment within the U.S."

(Zind) Relief and concern were also what Vermont Guard veteran Marty Tatro felt. Tatro served in Iraq as part of Task Force Saber in 2005 and 2006.  He says he was pleased when he heard the news.

(Tatro) "Glad for the United States and for folks in New York and people that were related to folks that died when the Twin Towers fell. A certain amount of closure, I’m sure."

(Zind) But Tatro says he’s also concerned about how bin Laden’s supporters might try to retaliate against this country in the wake of the killing.

For VPR News, I’m Steve Zind.

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