Bin Laden’s Death Stirs Painful Memories

Lori Brown

Monday was an extremely emotional day for families who lost loved ones on 9/11.

The reactions were mixed. For some, Osama bin Laden's death brought a sense of satisfaction, but for others, Sunday’s events brought sadness.

On Monday, I spoke with one, a colleague at NBCSanDiego, who lost her uncle during the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Lori Brown’s uncle was on the 96th floor of the south tower when the plane hit. The news writer saw some of the spontaneous celebrations that were being televised after President Barack Obama made the announcement on Sunday night.

“It's just mixed emotions,” Brown said. “You see all this elation, people celebrating, and, I don't know, that kind of made me uncomfortable in a sense. And then when you start to see all those old images of the tower burning -- because my uncle was in the tower -- it just brings me back to 10 years ago.”

Brown carries a picture of her uncle in her wallet to this day. The old black-and-white photo was actually part of the many iconic message boards that sprang up in Manhattan after 9/11, the boards with the solemn message: "Have You Seen Me?"
Richard Stadelberger, Uncle Dickie, as Brown affectionately calls him, was 55-years old when he was killed.
“My raw emotion: It was a mixture of happiness -- because we got him -- and thinking about how evil he is and how much pain he's brought to so many people. but it's odd to me to celebrate death like that.”

Another San Diegan, Jeanine Hart, who lost her brother on 9/11, gave me a picture of her brother 10 year ago. I've held on to it. It says, "We will never forget." Hart is in Hawaii right now -- she sent me an e-mail about the moment she heard the news about bin Laden. She said she gave the same exact same card to a waitress at a restaurant, who burst out in tears.

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