While in Washington people cheered the announced death of Osama bin Laden, at Bayside’s Engine 320 and Ladder 167 firehouse, where two of their own died from 9/11 related illnesses, the mood was somber.
“I don’t think anybody [here] is ecstatic,” said one firefighter on duty who declined to be named. “It’s just closure."
The firehouse TV set was filling in the important details of the news that the few people within earshot of the set seemed numb to.
Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, was killed in Pakistan, President Barack Obama said during a press conference Sunday night.
An operation spearheaded by the Central Intelligence Agency resulted in bin Laden's death during a raid Sunday in northwest Pakistan, the president said.
"His demise should be welcome by all who believe in peace and human dignity," Obama said. "On nights like this one, we can say to those families who've lost loved ones to Al Qaeda's terror - justice has been done."
The president said the U.S. was in possession of bin Laden's body.
Inside the firehouse, the image of —whose body had been laid to rest in 2009 after succumbing to Pancreatic Cancer—was framed and fixed to the wall.
Ryan had been part of the search and rescue mission at Ground Zero, which caused the disease that took him from his wife and three children at age 48.
He was remembered at the firehouse as a big man, but he’d become skinny and jaundiced-looking at the time of his death.
, who also died in 2009, reportedly fell to kidney cancer at age 59, after being exposed to chemicals at Ground Zero.
"After September 11, 2001, we gave our word as Americans that we would stop at nothing to capture or kill Osama bin Laden," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday night. "After the contribution of millions, including so many who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation, we have kept that word."
In a statement, City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said bin Laden's death was a "milestone" for the families of 9/11's victims.
"The death of Osama bin Laden is a welcome milestone for the friends and families of those killed on 9/11 and for all who remain tenaciously engaged in protecting New York from another attack," Kelly said.
Welcome though it may be, firemen around Bayside were not to be found clamoring to celebrate the news together.
“No one’s really going crazy,” said one firefighter sitting in his FDNY vehicle parked outside of the North Shore Diner. The FDNY radio channels, he said, were not clogged with communications about bin Laden. The only place he noticed his colleagues expressing any jubilation was on Facebook.