PORT ST. LUCIE — Mary White, a local resident whose daughter was on United Flight 93 and died during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, said Monday she doesn't feel closure with Osama bin Laden's death.
"From what I've read he hasn't been in charge for the past few years and we still have a genuine threat against us," said White, whose daughter, Honor Elizabeth Wainio, was 27 when she died. "I had hoped for some closure, I had hoped for some kind of sense of accomplishment, and I don't feel that and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel."
Wainio, who worked at Discovery Channel Stores in New York, was traveling to a business meeting in San Francisco when her plane was hijacked. Known to family and friends as Beth, Wainio changed reservations at the last minute to get a direct flight.
White moved to Port St. Lucie in June 2001.
"This time 10 years ago I was planning to go up and spend a long weekend with my daughter before our move," White said. "And she was planning to come down here for her birthday in October. So (Sunday) morning I woke up having all these warm feelings about the last time I saw her."
White said she was experiencing a loss, but it wasn't the sadness it had been in the past.
"When this came over the news, when the president was standing there, the sadness has returned. I feel overwhelmed the way I did when it first happened and I don't understand that," White said. "I don't understand why it hit me like this. It brings me right back to the first time I saw the first smoke from the first tower and then through everything, and sitting in front of the TV, getting home and seeing the field in Pennsylvania."
Two hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center's twin towers and another into the Pentagon. Passengers on Flight 93 commandeered the plane and forced it to the ground in Pennsylvania — at cost of their own lives — before it could reach its target in Washington. Bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attacks, which killed thousands.
White began volunteering at the Port St. Lucie Police Department several years ago. She greeted visitors Monday morning in the front lobby. White said her daughter's death spurred her to volunteer.
"The loss that I felt when she was killed, the numbness that I felt that didn't go away, the uselessness that I felt, yes, I came here five years ago because I needed to feel like I could help in some small way and I hope I have in the five years," she said. "I feel like this has been my lifesaver.
"I talked to (a civilian Police Department employee Monday) morning. I said, '10 years ago I didn't have a support network ... I had no one but my husband. Now I have a couple hundred people that I know are here for me.' "
White said she's proud of the Navy SEALs, the elite force that raided bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan. Bin Laden was shot in the head.
"I'm very proud that our covert operations could be kept quiet enough without all these silly leaks that seem to have happened and allowed this to take place," White said. "I'm very grateful to the president and all of our troops everywhere."
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