Jubilation, Concern In Chicago After Bin Laden’s Death

UPDATED 05/02/11 11:13 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicagoans are reacting to the death of Osama bin Laden Monday morning, with a mixture of jubilation, relief and concern.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, air travelers remain concerned about the threat of retaliation.

moments after President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. Armed Forces had killed bin Laden, the State Department issued a travel alert, and warned of the heightened possibility for anti-American violence.

But late Monday morning, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said there are no plans to raise the nation’s terror alert level.

Still, at O’Hare International Airport Monday morning, many people were hesitant about flying, but they weren’t dwelling on their fears.

“I think there’s always a need for concern, but yes, I think at the moment, perhaps, speaking a little too soon,” said Jill Farley, who was traveling from England.

For many of the passengers, the worldwide travel alert issued by the State Department did not stir up too much fear. Tom and Hillary McNally of the Hyde Park neighborhood were flying from Costa Rica, and said their children were more concerned than them.

“They were just asking if the threat was going to be increased since Osama had been killed, and were we concerned about it, but we reassured them that we weren’t,” Hillary McNally said.

Tom McNally said the development wouldn’t dramatically change their plans once they arrive in Costa Rica.

“When you live in Chicago, you have to be aware of where you are and your surroundings all the time anyway,” Tom McNally said.

Security lines at O’Hare were extra-long, even for a Monday morning. One employee said that was because Transportation Security Administration employees were told to be extra-careful and detail-oriented Monday as they checked bags and passengers through the scanners.

“I believe the lines are so long because of additional checks,” said Colleen Jones, who was headed to Barbados. “I’m OK – a little tense, but OK – and I’m all for security checks; anything to keep me safe and for other passengers to get to our destination.”

Kevin and Edna Santos of Pittsburgh said they are confident in U.S> intelligence to protect them.

“We’re very secure because we do a lot of traveling,” Kevin Santos said. “We know Homeland Security has our back, and I know it’s not going to let something through. I’m a little apprehensive, still, though.”

Everyone agreed that just because the al-Qaeda leader is dead does not mean terrorism has been eradicated.

“I think it’s nice to know he’s gone, but I think there will be problems with people; disciples of him taking over,” Farley said. “I don’t think it’s the end just because he’s been taken out”

Meanwhile at the Pakistani restaurant Ghareeb Nawaz, 2032 W. Devon Ave., patrons watched the news TV while they ate. Halfway across town at the White Palace Grill, 1159 S. Canal St., people said they felt a sense of relief that bin Laden was killed, and had mixed opinions about the possibility of retaliation.

“Now that he’s dead, like, I think I do feel like the U.S. is safer. I feel like his own country is safer, because I know that he was a threat to his own country,” said Maya Holt of Chicago.

“I definitely think there’s going to be a backlash,” Tirra Pitman of Joliet. “The Taliban’s leader has now found out. They’re really going to go crazy.”

“This is not going away, but I think it gives people some sense of, not safety, but at least closure to that one aspect of our lives,” said Massimo Messina of Chicago. “It may give some people some resolve around it, but I feel that the enemies of this country will continue to try to attack us whether Osama is dead or not.”

Elsewhere in Chicago Monday morning, WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, some people say they had forgotten about bin Laden. Others say they thought they would have caught and killed him long before now.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

But to a person, people say they’re glad he’s gone.

Brendan Garrett says the reaction at his house when news broke that bin Laden was dead was as loud as when the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last year.

“They’re just in a garage hanging out watching TV and a place erupted,” he said.

Jackie Stennis said she thought the news of bin Laden’s death was “great.”

“I’m pretty sure (this day) would come, but I didn’t know when,” she said.

Stennis said she would have liked to have seen bin Laden taken alive and put on trial.

Larry Martinez said he never would have thought bin Laden would be captured and killed.

“I think it’s a load off our back, and we can try to continue to break down that regime, al-Qaeda,” he said.

Added Ty Harvey, “I think it’s good that it’s finally over.” But he said he expected bin Laden would have been captured before now.

“We have the best technology in the world, and they can see us here doing this interview, so you’d think that being able to find someone is not that difficult for our country,” he said.

Harvey said he is worried about retaliation as he headed to Midway International Airport.

The State Department is urging Americans to limit travel outside of their homes and hotels, and to avoid mass-gatherings.

  • How RAW

    Good Job U.S. Armed Forces.

  • E.D.E.

    Our troops are to be commended for such a selfless act of heroism. Thank you

  • Raymond Prudente

    The world will be better and a safer place without Bin Laden. Justice is achieved to the families of those killed he masterminded. Congratulation U.S. Navy Seals on a job well done. One team/One fight and the “Best in America.” God bless our military.

  • PoeticJustice

    I want proof! Show me the pictures of the hole in his head, only then will I believe he is dead.

  • JusticeHasBeenServed

    Congratulation U.S. Army Special Forces on a job well done! Green Berets Rule!

    • PoeticJustice

      Word has it that it was the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, and I still await the proof in the pics.

  • YEAH

    Head shot – PEFECT Luv to see the video :)

  • Mr. Justice

    Yeah! Our troops finally got him. Justice has been served. It is being reported that OBL hid behind a woman in the closing seconds of his life. This just shows the world the coward he really was. Thank You are Navy’s Seal Team 6.

    • Lew

      Always good to hear from you Mr. Justice. I hope Bin Laden experienced sheer and utter terror during the last moments of his life.

  • Joe Patroni

    I need to see the LONG FORM DEATH CERTIFICATE.

  • Tanya Livingston

    Obama saved the US from economic calamity, resucued the auto industry, reformed health care and got Bin Laden after only two yeears as President. The Tea Partiers and Birthiers and Right Wing fanatics will still find him objectionable.

    • PoeticJustice

      You have got to be kidding me, you just made me pee! Hope and change is out of range, when those who drink have failed to think. Do yourselves a really big favor and remove from the shelves, the Obama flavor. The Koolaid is bad.

      • Mr. Justice

        I love your comments Poetic Justice! I believe Tanya needs a reality check.

  • Tonya Livington

    Without pictures, it didn’t happen. Obama needed a distraction, so he invented this one. Clinton has Bosnia, Obama has Osama.

  • South Side

    Let’s see how the right spins this against Obama, it was really all Bush’s doing and Obama’s taking credit, Obama could have got him a long time ago, he’s just deflecting from the fact that he’s not really American, etc.

  • Evergreen Park

    This is not about the President the right or left .This about the people of 911 they can now rest in pace, R.I.P

  • Helena

    To some degree, I think it’s natural to see such a wide range of mixed reactions. In the last decade we, as a nation and individuals, have been through so much. 9/11 to be sure, the wars, the housing mess, the massive loss of jobs, massive corporate corruption, and so on. But if our best reaction to this news is one of cynicism, then Osama and his ilk have won, after all. After our household heard President Obama speak, last night, here was our reaction. We ran to our basement and pulled out OUR small US FLAGS. They’re in our front windows now, in our Chicago suburb. EVERYBODY should put one out to once again honor the families of the 9/11 victims, our nation, all that we’ve survived, and the death of a despot! This month we will again honor the memory of al men and women who’ve proudly served our country. Come on, America! Have we really become that jaded in ten years? Get out those flags and leave them up all month!

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