Jersey Shore residents rejoiced as the news of Osama bin Laden's death spread rapidly Sunday evening, despite the late hour.
Reaction in Brick, Toms River and elsewhere was swift and almost universal: Exultation that one of the United States' most elusive foes was dead, and dead as a result of U.S. action.
"This is the day we have been waiting for," said Laraine Sgroi of Brick, whose ex-husband, Thomas of Brick and Staten Island, died in the attacks.
"Justice has been served - a huge negative force has been removed," she said. "A good day to honor our American flag, long may she wave. We can all rest in peace."
In an extraordinary address, President Obama interrupted almost every U.S. TV channel to announce the news.
While he did not provide details, he said that the U.S. has been tracking bin Laden for months and finally located him in a residence in Pakistan. After a firefight, the president said, bin Laden was killed, with no loss of U.S. lives.
"On nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror: Justice has been done," Obama said.
"Let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people."
Gov. Chris Christie said, "I want to commend President Obama's administration for its commitment and dedication to finally bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. "As the former U.S. Attorney and now Governor of New Jersey, I speak for all the families of this state who have courageously endured the unspeakable and devastating consequences of terrorism.
"There is hardly a life that has gone untouched in New Jersey by the horrifying assault on American soil that took place on September 11th and today, after years of waiting, justice has finally been delivered."
Sen. Robert Menendez said, “As a nation, we may all feel some measure of closure that justice was accomplished. ... My thoughts and prayers, along with those of all New Jerseyans, are with those who lost family and friends on 9/11. Hopefully they can find some solace and a measure of closure today."
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