New Yorkers and visitors to the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan on Monday dealt with a surprise announcement late Sunday that U.S. forces had killed al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden, showing mixed feelings about what it meant for their safety, and justice for victims.
For some the news made a strong emotional impact.
I was shocked, because I said, did he really die? I mean, I was listening and said, is that true? So when I find out it was really true I started crying. Tears came out of my eyes, rejoicing of his death, said Germano Riviera of Brooklyn.
However he also tempered those feelings by stressing the importance of life.
Life is something only God is allowed to take, not us human beings. And that is that problem that we have. When any religion or any human being becomes radical and we start killing each other for the sake of religion or whatever it is, that's when the danger runs over, he said.
Was Justice Served?
When asked if the death had meant justice for the victims, one visitor said it did so partly.
Of course, I don't see how you cannot but it's a poor substitute for their loss, but it's something, said Winden Rose of Manhattan.
Any death is nothing to celebrate, according to Ryan Beckley of Seattle, Washington.
You have to acknowledge that something really horrible has happened because someone has died, he said while holding a placard quoting English poet John Donne, who wrote any man's death diminishes me.
No man is an island. And it's like that. We're all connected and we're all part of the world, he said.
Do You Feel Safer?
From nearby Suffolk County on Long Island, Brian Thompson expressed mixed feelings on whether he felt safer because of the killing of just one person while at the same time gaining strength from knowing the capabilities of U.S. troops.
Although it's great to have him killed, just one person's not enough for me and all the terrorism, he said.
I do feel safer to know how good our troops are that we could go into the house and find him. I do feel safe because of that.
Erin Forrest said bin Laden's death wasn't enough to make her feel safe.
He has followers so it's not safe, she said. You still have to watch out.
For some people safety has been an issue they've had to deal with in many places and situations regardless of the latest event.
Yeah, I'm still safe. I still feel safe because I've got a lot of faith in God. I gotta take care of my family. I can't be scared every day, said Rafael Sanchez of Brooklyn.
He recalls living in rough places.
I've lived in rough areas of Miami where it felt like it was Iraq. I felt like there were bombs going over my head. I lived in Harlem. I lived in D.C. I've lived all over the United States. So I mean it's no different, he said.
When asked if he had one message for New York, Sam Johnson took a long view.
Just go ahead and survive. This is not the end of this and, you know, we'll make it, just like we've made it this far, he said.