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Residents React to Osama bin Laden’s Death

Opinions vary on long-term effects.

At places like McDonald’s and LaSalle Market, the death of Osama bin Laden was certainly the dominant topic Monday morning in Canton, but not everyone agreed on the long-term effects of the news.

“It’s the greatest news in years,” said Bill Gimignani of Canton, a World War II Marine Corps veteran who was found at LaSalle.

Gimignani, who fought with the 5th Marine Division at Iwo Jima and in Nagasaki during the occupation of Japan, found out about the incident when he picked up the morning paper.

“I picked up The Hartford Courant; I was amazed,” he said.

Prescott Fogg of Collinsville heard the news when he got home late last night and turned on the TV.

“I was surprised,” he said. “I turned on something mind numbing and it was ‘Oh my God.’”

At McDonald’s of Canton, the "regulars" discussed the topic and others.

“I think it’s about time,” said John Malentacchi of Canton.

 Malentacchi said the world is now ready for the terrorists’ next move.

“We have too many people watching now,” he said. “We’re not going to get caught with our pants down.”

Ron Demski, who served in the Army Reserves from 1965 to 1971, sees it slightly differently.

“You kill the top man, there’s always 100 generals underneath him,” he said. It may take some time, he said, but he believes the terrorists will try something big.

“I think they’re going to do something drastic,” he said.

Greg Sims, a recon sergeant for the Army during Vietnam, including the Tet Offensive, said there will likely be some retaliation.

“You don’t know what they’re going to plan,” he said. 

Still, it’s great news and more needs to be done, he said.

“Couldn’t happen soon enough,” he said. “Got to get rid of all terrorists.” 

State Rep. Tim LeGeyt, said had positive reaction about the 10-year "hunt for this enemy of the United States."

Members of the military from Connecticut have been active in this long term pursuit,” he said. "I commend our commanders and troops for their incredible success of a raid against an enemy thousands of miles from our shore. They completed this with utmost precision and bravery. This success is a monumental tribute to their training and dedication. We thank them for their courage and tireless service to our country day after day."

At McDonald’s, Ray Mikulski of Canton, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1950, said in addition to Sept. 11, 2001 and other attacks, the bombing of the USS Cole in October of 2000 hit close to home as he served on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific. 

“That really hurt me,” he said. 

So this morning, he was glad to hear of the success in finding and killing bin Laden.

“It was good news,” he said. “It started my day right off the top.” 

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