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Son of September 11th victim "joyful and sad" at Bin Laden's death

6:17 AM, May 3, 2011   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - New York paramedic turned teacher Andrew Schwartz may change careers, but he will always be the son of  Mark Schwartz, a 50-year-old New York EMT and first responder on September 11th.

Pictures: Osama Bin Laden dead

 

"Big, loveable guy" is how 30-year-old Schwartz describes his father. Schwartz's father died when the World Trade Center's south tower collapsed as he helped the injured. "I relive that 10 years ago two, three times a week, just general life experiences I don't have that person to share with," says Schwartz.

It took nearly 10 years, but as Schwartz got ready for bed Sunday night, he says a friend texted him the news: "Osama bin Laden killed."

"I felt a sudden rush of emotion. I was joyful and sad at the same time. No one wishes deaths on anyone regardless," says Schwartz.

Click here to view previous story with Schwartz on 9th anniversary of September 11th.

Does Schwartz have any doubt it's not Bin Laden? "I don't have any doubt. In my mind, what's done is done. I don't need to see the body. I don't think, given the magnitude of the situation, an announcement would be made if it wasn't true."

Bin Laden's death brings closure to some families of 9/11 victims but Schwartz says the fight against terrorism is not over. The Jennings Middle School teacher says, "We're still fighting wars overseas spawned because of attacks on 9/11. When all that's done, maybe then closure."

Schwartz got a tattoo on his upper right arm for the first 9/11 anniversary. It has the EMT symbol with the words, "In Memory of Pops." He says his father's body was found two days after the buildings collapsed and his was one of the first funerals held. Mark Schwartz was buried on September 16, 2001.

A tattoo on Schwartz's upper left arm marks the 10th anniversary. The tattoo features the New York skyline, now with the Twin Towers missing. The reflection in the water shows the World Trade Center buildings the way the skyline looked before September 11, 2001. The words above the tattoo say, "The Memory Remains."

What does Schwartz think his father and the nearly 3,000 9/11 victims would be saying today? "I think like they were celebrating outside the White House. They are celebrating somewhere we can't see. He's happy justice has been served."

Schwartz says he was surprised to see so many people celebrating Sunday night in Washington DC and New York, especially young college people who were just kids 10 years ago.

Schwartz says, "I was excited. It did make me feel we are coming back together again as a nation."

 

 

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