GLOVERSVILLE - With the reported death of Osama bin Laden, a chapter has closed in the life of Vince DeSantis.
DeSantis' son, Jamal Legesse DeSantis, was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was on the 103rd floor of the first tower of the World Trade Center, in the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald.
"I have considered him to be my son's murderer," DeSantis said this morning.
Barney Wilson, left, and Bill Van Voast discuss the death of Osama bin Laden today at a Stewart’s shop in Johnstown.
(Barbara Cook/The Leader-Herald)
"To have this happen feels good to me," he added. "I hate to say anything because someone died, but the person was a mass murderer."
Ed Abraham of Naif's Groceries in Gloversville said a lot of people have been talking about the news of Osama bin Laden's death. Warren Greene, buying a newspaper proclaiming his death, said, "It's a great day and the culmination of a lot of hard work."
Over a cup of coffee at McDonald's in Johnstown, Art Kanieka of Tribes Hill expressed skepticism about whether bin Laden had really been killed, but the World War II veteran said if he was, "It's about time."
Barney Wilson and Bill VanVoast, both of Johnstown, were discussing bin Laden's death over coffee and bagels at a Stewart's shop in Johnstown. Wilson, a Persian Gulf veteran, said the news is glorious. "Now a lot of people can have closure from 9-11," he said.
VanVoast said although it's a wonderful thing, he worries about the consequences for the U.S. Now, he said, "we've gotta be on our toes."
Greene expressed similar sentiments.
"Unfortunately, the fight against terrorism is going to have to continue," he said.
Montgomery County Undersheriff Jeffery Smith said his department has received a general statement of heightened awareness. The area, he said, "is not high on the list of potential targets."
He said the department pays close attention to the railroad tracks, Mohawk River and Fulton-Montgomery Community College on a regular basis anyway.
Fulton County Sheriff Thomas Lorey could not be reached today.
DeSantis feels the U.S. has been vindicated in a way. "Up until now, they (terrorists) could say 'We can strike you anytime and you can't strike us back because you can't find us,'" he said. "That was always the thing - 'we're too small, but we're agile and patient.' Now that whole idea has been discredited. Now we have shown the world that we will find you and we can bring justice."
Barbara Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.