9/11 Families Relieved but Say Fight's Not Over

Article excerpt

The dead are still gone, the wars continue, but a measure of justice has come to the families who were torn apart on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

"It's been a long time in coming," said Gordon Felt, 47, of Remsen, N.Y. The president of the Families of Flight 93, whose 41- year-old brother, Edward Felt, died aboard the flight, was sleeping when his phone rang Sunday night.

"I know our military. It's an accomplishment they should feel very proud of and the American people should feel very proud of. They've been working tirelessly to this end."

"It doesn't change the status of our loved ones," Felt said. "They were murdered nearly 10 years ago. They'll never been brought back. Knowing this man from this day forward will never have the opportunity to perpetrate his evil is good."

Felt, though, cautioned Americans not to forget that the war on terror continues. He also worried about al-Qaida retribution.

"I will not be deluded to believing the war on terror will be over," Felt said. "I believe we're going to be all the more vigilant in the days to come.

"For all of us, personally, the fear that we would never know that bin Laden was dead, whether it was natural causes or a bombing event, I think that that question was a haunting question: Is he still out there?'"

Eureka Fire Rescue EMS Chief Rich Hauser led a team of volunteers from Tarentum to New York to help search the debris of the World Trade Center in the days after the attacks.

"Personally, I think it's justice," said Heuser. "It's a shame it took this long."

While crews spent long, draining days in the rubble, they didn't yet know bin Laden and al-Qaida was behind the attacks, but they ached to see those responsible made to answer for their crimes.

"You can't see that happen to your homeland and not want to find out who did it," he said. "It might help to bring a little closure. …