With the news of Osama bin Laden’s death sweeping across the world late Sunday evening, many members of the Sachem community spent Monday reflecting on the historic day.
There were who perished in the attacks on . Ray Meisenheimer, a New York City Fireman in Rescue 3 and a Holtsville resident was one. His family is content with the news.
“I am always going to remember the day justice was served and bin Laden got what was coming for him,” said Kaitlynn Meisenheimer, his daughter, a Sachem East alum who now attends SUNY Cortland. “Many Americans will be able to sleep better at night knowing the world's most wanted terrorist is now dead.
“Although I am glad he is dead it doesn't bring back my dad and the other innocent men and women whose lives were taken. I can only hope my dad will rest more peacefully now. God bless the men and women who serve to protect us.”
Matt Rall, who lost his father Ed, a New York City Fireman in Rescue 2, found out of bin Laden's death this morning when he went to work.
"My first initial feeling was surprised," said Rall, who mentioned that he hasn't followed up on much of the news that has been swirling. "I'm proud of the guys who went in there and did there job getting this guy. Media is media and our government has been known for being secretive. I pray that it's actually him."
Rich Petillo, a Sachem alum and an assistant lacrosse coach at Sachem High School North, is a Port Authority Police Officer in New York and 37 of his colleagues were killed during the attacks.
“I'm very ambivalent with the news,” he said. “Our country has showed it's resolve in bringing justice. Our armed forces are the best in the world and should be commended for their commitment to this operation and future ones. It should also serve as a wake up call to our homeland and abroad that we must fight terrorism where ever it may be. We can never be complacent as I feel we have slipped back to the way it was on Sept. 10, 2001.”
From an educational perspective, the social studies department at Sachem High School North made it a priority to pause and reflect with is students. Most classes streamed President Barack Obama’s address to the nation and fielded debates on what the impact of bin Laden’s death would have on the war on terror, American foreign policy and Obama’s presidency.
“We discussed how President Obama used the power of his office to project a clear image that he was the Commander in Chief in charge of this military action,” said Tom Cestaro, the social studies department chair at North.
He said his Advanced Placement Government and Politics class came to the conclusion that barring another seismic event, Obama may have given his reelection bid in 2012 an insurmountable advantage with this foreign policy victory.
Students also raised questions about America’s relationship with Pakistan as a result of finding bin Laden.
Others like , a Sachem alum and former U.S. Marine from Holbrook currently at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio nursing his amputated leg suffered after seeing action in Afghanistan in 2006, are at a loss of words on such a sensitive subject.
One of Zeier’s main reasons for enlisting was to honor the loss of his friend’s father John Crisci, a New York City Fireman, also from Holbrook.
“I would love to tell you what I think, but thinking about my life as a special forces operator and now sitting here in rehab with one leg, I don’t think I can,” he said.
Sachem North will finish its 9/11 memorial in September on the 10th anniversary of the attacks. A piece of steel from the World Trade Center will be placed out front of the high school where a stone flame currently sits in honor of the tragic day.
Sachem Patch will continue to update this story as reaction comes in throughout the day.