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Osama bin Laden's death: Sen. Murray, Rep. Inslee, UW-Bothell and Cascadia Community College students' reactions
President Barack Obama noted that, "We can all agree this is a good day for America," yesterday at the White House during a Medal of Honor ceremony as he addressed the killing of Osama bin Laden.
American Navy SEALs killed bin Laden — the al-Qaida terrorist and mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks — in Pakistan, and the Obama administration used DNA testing to help identify the body before it was buried at sea, according to Associated Press reports.
Locally, two students at the University of Washington, Bothell and Cascadia Community College and one businessman unveiled their feelings about bin Laden's death and what comes next for America.
As he sat in a Cascadia study area Monday morning, Doug Waterman of Kenmore could only shake his head at people around the nation celebrating bin Laden's killing in a firefight in his mansion in Pakistan.
"I'm a little annoyed by how happy everyone is considering $1.2 trillion was spent over the last 10 years to do this," he said. "I guess it's a good marking point, but at the same time, how many people have died to do this? It doesn't seem right to me how excited everyone is. It's not as though the wars are just going to end."
Mingling with friends in the UW-Bothell Common Grounds coffee lounge, Andrew LeClair of Monroe said that he was absorbed in the bin Laden news yesterday. One friend said LeClair didn't do his homework last night because he was watching TV reports.
"I was at an all-day youth movie festival yesterday, so I got several texts about the news, and my first reaction was that ... finally, after this long process, it's kind of all been resolved to a point in some people's minds, even though it necessarily isn't," he said. "But I think it's a really good thing for people's morale, and I think it's going to help people feel better about it for now."
LeClair added that future relations with Pakistan are unsure for now. As for Obama, he feels the situation should instill a lot more confidence in his presidential skills for a while.
Over at the Grease Monkey auto repair on Bothell Way Northeast, manager Jeremy Noe agreed with LeClair about Obama's status with Americans. "I don't know if Obama thought that his chance for a second term was kind of slipping," he said. "So maybe (he thought), 'Just go in there and do something drastic to put my name on the board.'"
Noe feels it's good that bin Laden is gone, but feels that it was "long overdue" for American forces to get the job done. He isn't sure if yesterday's actions will change anything for America's safety from terrorists.
"They said they think bin Laden's been out of the circle for a while," Noe added. "Who knows, maybe a couple of his offspring (will be) pumping their fists in the air to make sure bin Laden's death won't go without repercussions ... I hope not, but you never know."
On Monday afternoon, Rep. Jay Inslee (First Congressional District, which includes Bothell and Kenmore) released the following statement:
"Our military forces, working together with intelligence personnel, executed to perfection an operation in which terrorist Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday. We are grateful for the courage and professionalism with which these Americans carried out their orders and thank them for their service.
"In 2008, Barack Obama promised to take out Osama bin Laden, and as president, he has succeeded in doing so. I join all Americans in relief that bin Laden's reign of terror is over.
"Now we must continue to maintain our vigilance to root out terrorists and terror organizations wherever they may be."
Bothell native U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) spoke on the Senate floor Monday to discuss the death of bin Laden and pay tribute to the service members and veterans, and those who have been lost in our military efforts.
"So today as we appropriately take pride in the most significant victory yet in our fight against al-Qaida and terrorism, we should also take pause to honor all of the veterans and active duty service members who have paved the way to this day.
"And we must remember that this tremendous victory has come with a tremendous cost. A cost that we must bear as a nation for many years to come — as our service members return home."