San Diegans who lost family are glad Osama is dead - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diegans who lost family are glad Osama is dead

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Reaction to Osama bin Laden's death is just as strong here in San Diego as it is across the country. It's also incredibly emotional for the families of San Diegans who were killed in his attacks.

Lakieba Palmer and Fred Kelley didn't know each other, but they became joined in spirit because of the evil deeds of Osama bin Laden. Their loved ones say they're shocked, but not surprised that time finally ran out for the al-Qaeda leader.

Standing near his oldest daughter Lakiba's Mount Hope Cemetery grave, Hugh Palmer can hardly contain his emotions now that Osama bin Laden has been killed.

The San Diego High School grad was one of 17 sailors killed onboard the USS Cole when suicide bombers sent by bin Laden blew a 40 by 40-foot hole in the destroyer's side on Oct. 12, 2000.

Lakiba, who had just begun her naval career, had been eating breakfast when the steel hull was suddenly shredded. Palmer is relieved the most wanted terrorist is gone for good.

"These are tears of joy because I know that he's not here to hurt anymore. He's not here to run," Hugh Palmer said.

The Emerald Hills man has high praise for those who were able to end bin Laden's reign of terror.

"I thank everybody who had part in this. You did it, we got him, he's no longer here. Yes!" he said.

San Diego lawyer Pat Hennessey is still reeling from the news that Osama bin Laden is dead. His brother-in-law Fred Kelley was one of the thousands killed during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York City's World Trade Center towers.

"He was an outstanding sailor, a good golfer, just really enjoyed life," Hennessey said.

The Scripps Ranch resident says his loved one, who worked for a bond brokerage firm, is still toasted at every family meal and has been memorialized at his hometown church in Long Island. Hennessey says he's grateful for the sacrifices made by those responsible for getting rid of the madman who caused so much pain for so many Americans.

"Does it bring Fred back? No, but on the other hand there's a certain degree of satisfaction that you can take from the fact, and for me it's that they didn't give up," Hennessey said.

Getting back to Lakieba Palmer, she has a residence hall named for her at the naval training center, and she will be honored Saturday at a luncheon put on by the Women's Veterans Association.

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