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SEPT. 11 2001

For Area Muslims, Closure is Elusive

Little Pakistan DeliKathryn Kattalia For many in the East Village’s Muslim community a sense of closure after the death of Osama bin Laden still seems far off. Below: While much of the world watched news reports of Bin Laden’s killing, patrons at the Little Pakistan Deli watched a cricket match.

On a newspaper stand outside the Little Pakistan Deli on Second Avenue, bold headlines announced the news many Americans have waited 10 years to hear: Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden is dead.

But inside the deli, manager Safdar Zaidi said it was business as usual as several customers crowded around a small television in the back of the store. “They are watching the cricket game instead of the news,” Mr. Zaidi, 45, said. “Pakistan is playing the West Indies.”

While thousands of New Yorkers rushed to Times Square and Ground Zero last night to celebrate news that Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan by American forces, members of the East Village Muslim community were hesitant to join in, saying closure is still some way off. Mr. Zaidi, whose store has been in the East Village between East 12th and East 13th Streets for more than ten years, said that many of his customers are Muslim cab drivers who stop in during their lunch break.

“Most of them aren’t sure if he’s dead because they haven’t seen a body,” he said. “They want evidence that he died.”
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Your Voices | The Death of Bin Laden

People Flock to Ground ZeroClaire Glass Scores of people flocked to the World Trade Center site today in the hours after the announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed.

From Ground Zero to Tompkins Square Park, a sampling of local reactions to the death of Osama bin Laden.

At Ground Zero

“Part of the wound has been healed but I’ll be living with this until the day I die. The images of New Yorkers leaping from buildings don’t go away. Today, I don’t have grief. I’m glad this day finally came.”
Lenny Crisci, 63, a retired police officer, whose younger brother, Lieutenant John Crisci, was killed on 9/11.

Francine Morin, 31Claire Glass Francine Morin at the World Trade Center site this morning.

“We all felt it, smelled it, tasted it, ingested it. The stress, the constant bomb threats that followed and that metallic, rotten stench — all because of this guy and what he did. This man had a direct effect of my life. My personal terrorist is dead.”
Francine Morin, 41, who worked two blocks away from the World Trade Center and was treated for post-traumatic stress after 9/11.
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At Local Fire Houses, A Muted Morning

DSC_0456Ian Duncan Six firefighters from Ladder 11 lost their lives on 9/11. This morning, all was quiet at the station house

A single rose marked plaques remembering firefighters killed in the line of duty. At Engine 28 and Ladder 11, six in all mark those who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 – five firefighters and one lieutenant. On this milky gray morning, the station house appeared almost abandoned. The engines stood mutely inside the garage and no men could be seen through the windows. It was a sharp contrast to the frenzy of action as firefighters rushed downtown almost ten years ago.

At a ring of the station house bell, a young firefighter came to the door. He was not at the World Trade Center, he explained, and summoned his colleagues from the back of the station. Kevin Murray, a survivor of the rescue efforts was on duty, but in the hours after Osama Bin Laden’s death, the Fire Department is not permitting individual firefighters to talk to the press.

ROSE cropIan Duncan At Engine 28, Ladder 11.

At the station on East Second Street, firefighters were on duty as normal and seemed in good spirits, happy to chat, if not to comment. Across the firehouse door, the slogan “We support our troops” stood as a reminder of how closely tied New York’s fire department is to the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and the wars that followed.

Just a few blocks over there was a hint at the rawness of the emotions brought up by last night’s news. A tired-looking firefighter on duty at the front desk at Engine 33 and Ladder 9 told The Local that the men there were not yet ready to share their thoughts and were still processing what they had heard.

In all, 26 firefighters from the East Village’s four stations died on 9/11, according to department memorial pages. Across the city 343 members of the fire department lost their lives.

In January, Roy Chelsen, an Engine 28 and Ladder 11 firefighter who was at the World Trade Center on 9/11, died after a battle with bone-marrow cancer. His disease was linked to working in the toxic rubble of the collapsed towers.

In an statement posted on Twitter late last night, FDNY commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano said, “Osama Bin Laden was responsible for killing 343 members of the FDNY on Sept. 11, 2001. Tonight, in firehouses throughout the city, our members are grateful for the news, and thankful to all the brave members of the U.S. military that had a role in this successful operation.”

This morning a post from the Twitter account read, “Commissioner Cassano: #OsamaBinLaden’s death is a relief for the 343 FDNY families who lost a loved one on 9/11.”