ASTORIA, QUEENS (CBS 2) — The death of Osama bin Laden has brought new life into the lives of Maureen and Al Santora. 

“When I realized it was true, I was overjoyed,” said Maureen. “I was thrilled.”

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Gone forever now is the mastermind of the 9/11 attack who killed so many, including their son.

“He was the reason my son was killed and I’m delighted that he’s dead,” said Maureen.

Firefighter Christopher Santora lost his life that horrible day.  The 23-year-old was new at the FDNY and was living his dream.

But his death became his parents’ worst nightmare.

“Oh, it was the most devastating loss I’ve ever experienced,” said Maureen. “Losing a child is indescribable unless you’ve experienced it yourself.”

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So when they heard the news that bin Laden had been killed, they could hardly believe it.

“I was waiting for somebody to come on the TV and say we made a mistake,” said Maureen. “It wasn’t true.”

But the fact that it is true was especially heartening for Al, a 40-year veteran of the FDNY himself.

“He’s gone now. I’m glad of that,” said Al. “We don’t have to see his face and his name anymore.”
They say the loss of their son and the hurt they’ve lived with will never go away. But for now, they are at peace.

“I am joyful today. I feel my son cheering in Heaven and I feel him saying, ‘Good job America, you did a good job,'” said Maureen.

The Santoras have created a scholarship in honor of their son Christopher. The fund provides scholarships to students and educational materials to schools.

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