Update: Reactions to death of Osama bin Laden


"That he's dead is part of the healing process," said Harold Schapelhouman, chief at the Menlo Park Fire Protection District upon hearing the news that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S. military-led firefight in Pakistan Sunday.

Chief Schapelhouman participated in recovery efforts at the World Trade Center in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"But it really won't change what was done," he added. "This doesn't turn back the clock."

Each year, the district has observed the anniversary of the attack by placing 343 American flags in front of fire stations, one for each firefighter killed in the rescue effort.

Andy Garcia

Andy Garcia of Portola Valley lost his life in the United Airlines Flight 93 crash on Sept. 11, 2001, in Pennsylvania. Each year, his family commemorates his birthday (Aug. 28) with a memorial 5K run-walk-bike event on Labor Day in Portola Valley.

"The news of the death of Osama Bin Laden is a somber victory," said Dorothy Garcia Bachler, who was the wife of Andy Garcia. "While the author of the September 11th attacks is gone, we still have terrorism in the world. It is nice to see that the United States showed its supremacy once again and I am proud to be an American.

"My heartfelt thanks go out to the brave men who risked their lives to complete the mission given to them. This is another chapter closed in my life of a day that will continue to have historical significance. I hope that the bravery of all aboard United Flight 93 will never be forgotten."

Other comments

State Sen. Leland Yee, whose district includes Portola Valley and Woodside, said in a statement: "This is an emotional and historic day for our country and the world. I am proud of our men and women in uniform and the action of our President.

"I am hopeful that this achievement helps brings relief and closure to those who have lost loved ones at the hands of al Qaeda. As President Barack Obama so eloquently said, the demise of Osama bin Laden should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity."

Gov. Jerry Brown issued this statement Sunday: "Tonight, Americans can be grateful that President Obama brought bin Laden to justice. Our friends as well as our adversaries throughout the world can be assured of America's resolve in combating terrorism and protecting the values of democracy and freedom."

"Anyone who witnessed the events of 9/11 wanted to see a day of justice. This is that day," said Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Contrary to what Gov Brown stated so emphatically, Obama did not "bring Bin Laden to justice". Navy SEALS and the CIA did.

Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

If a terrorist attack occurred during this presidency, you would probably be right to blame the current administration for its lack of vigilance.

When this presidency captures and kills the world's most wanted terrorist, they should get the credit.

I am less concerned about who gets the credit and more concerned with trying to maintain our country's newfound unity.

Like this comment
Posted by al norte sm
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm

"Navy SEALS and the CIA did."

And their Commander-in-Chief, who promised Americans in 2008 that he would get bin Laden, played what role? Sorry you do not either:

- understand how our Constitutional chain of command works, and/or didn't hear his speech last night
- or are so partisan that you have to disrespect the President of the United States at a moment like this, out of some dislike

With all due respect to our wonderful armed services, they did so under the authority, and in this case, multiple hands-on decisions of the President.

You also forgot the other services besides the SEALS and the CIA, such as the FBI (reportedly there doing the forensics,) and probably navel assets, the NSA assets, etc..

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm

While credit is often given to the one at the top, the one who may have to make the decision, the mark of a good and humble leader will redirect back the praise to the ones who are doing the field, office, surveillance, recon, and similar type of work. It's a team effort.

I'll bet if you ask one of the Navy SEALS, he would say that he was doing his job and that the mission was successfully completed.

Well done to all who had a hand in the operation.

Like this comment
Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I wonder if Donald Trump will demand to see the death certificate...

Like this comment
Posted by al norte sm
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Web Link at the 2 minute mark of Meyer's "speech"

Funny coincidence - at Saturday night's dinner, besides both the President and Meyers trashing The Donald, Meyers cracks a bin Laden joke at CSPAN's expense. A quick cut shows the President grinning broadly.

Paint the thought bubble above his head: (""go ahead, laugh, I ordered the hit last week and we got him last night...")

The dude is Cool.

Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 2, 2011 at 10:48 pm

since when has celebrating someone's death become socially acceptable?

regardless of what he did, bin laden is still a father, a brother and a son.

this hatred brewing throughout the american public is disgusting... just because bin laden is a murderer does not mean we should follow his footsteps.

this does nothing but escalate the solution. by killing osama, you've just created a hundred more osamas. good luck america.

Like this comment
Posted by shocked
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 3, 2011 at 8:33 am

To Sadfsf- You are beyond ignorant and naive. This worthless, coward who hides in caves and behind women is/was a terrorist. Killing him was a must. This is not Fairy Tale land. This coward murdered thousands of innocent men, women and children all over the world. He was directly responsible for the hijacking of commerical airlines used to murder thousands of Americans on American soil not to mention attacks on our military and various other terrorist attacks throughout the world. This is not about hatred as you think. It is about bringing a war criminal to justice and sending a powerful message for those gutless followers to heed. [Portion deleted. Attack ideas, not posters.]

Like this comment
Posted by sadfsf
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 3, 2011 at 10:00 am

shocked: from his perspective, and from whatever belief system he had and grew up with, he was at war, and whatever he did felt right to him. Perhaps some times Americans feel the same way: Recall that we killed 200,000 innocent Japanese civilians in a pair of attacks back in 1945. I don't see any of these acts being more heinous than the other, and they are both deplorable. But that is not the point. Regardless of what kind of person Osama was, he is no longer a threat, and we should be ashamed that we have the blood-thirsty urge to end his life and destroy his close family's life just for symbolic purposes. The message we send here is "bring it on", not "let's make peace." Do you really think this will make America safer from terrorists? I think it is much more likely that they would want to avenge Osama's death, just like we have been wanting to avenge 9/11 for so many years.

Like this comment
Posted by laughing
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on May 3, 2011 at 10:25 am

whoever this sadfsf is...[portion removed]. You are clearly one wo likes to twist facts to your own misguided beliefs. [Portion removed; disrespectful language violates terms of use.]

Like this comment
Posted by pragmatic
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on May 3, 2011 at 11:23 am

laughing, you are proving sadfsf's point.

The level of bloodlust and hatred that seems pervasive -- including on this thread -- suggests to me that peace is a long ways off and perhaps unattainable.

Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2011 at 11:28 am

"Move to the Middle don't even deserve to be here."

Free Speech, and the Constitution, to the contrary....

Laughing: are you an American?

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on May 3, 2011 at 11:39 am

Author, journalist and bin Laden scholar Lawrence Wright, asked by the CIA what should be doe with bin Laden if he were captured alive ...

He should not be killed, Wright said in a September 2006 op-ed in the New York Times:

"We should, instead, offer him to the authorities in Kenya, where, on Aug. 7, 1998, a Qaeda suicide bomber murdered 213 people in the attack on the American Embassy. More than 150 people were blinded by flying glass in the attack — most of them Africans who were in or near the embassy or the secretarial school across the street, which was flattened by the blast. Let Mr. bin Laden sit in a courtroom in Nairobi and explain to those blind Africans that he was aiming only at an icon of American power."

It goes on by taking to other points on his path of destruction until arriving in his native Saudi Arabia, where he would be punished in public in the traditional way.

Link to the entire opinion:

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Atherton: other
on May 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I wish that our roving reporter Peter Carpenter, now on assignment overseas, would send us news from Turkey of the reaction there.

Like this comment
Posted by Homeopathy
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I really feel for anybody who has suffered loss with this tragedy. I've lost both of my parents, though not through this attack, it still hurt for quite a while afterwards. Healing does take time, but it can happen, and it did for me. A great way through it is to heal on an emotional level, where it causes you to feel hurt, sadness or anger. Dr. Bradley Nelson came up with a great tool called the healing code: Web Link which can help anyone who is suffering from emotional traumas and nightmare like emotions. My prayers are with you all.

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