NEW YORK (CBS 2) — One of the men who became a symbol of strength in the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is speaking out about the death of Osama bin Laden.

Retired firefighter Bob Beckwith stood beside then-President George W. Bush at Ground Zero three days after the World Trade Center collapsed when the president made a promise of justice.

PHOTOS: New Yorkers Celebrate Death Of Osama Bin Laden

“I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked down these buildings will hear all of us soon,” Mr. Bush said.

“Ten years have gone by already. That’s a long time. I’m glad that I’m still here because I’m an old man now and I didn’t think I was going to see it, but I did see it,” said Beckwith.

He watched this week as President Obama announced the mastermind behind those attacks had been killed. He saw the crowds stream into Times Square and Ground Zero, ecstatic at the terrorist’s death.

However, he said he didn’t feel so much joy as the lifting of a burden.

“They did their job and it’s a great thing for America that we finally got him,” he said.

As for closure, Beckwith said bin Laden’s death didn’t offer that to him.

“No closure, not for us, not for the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Port Authority guys. Those people who lost, I didn’t lose anybody, I lost guys I worked with, their sons were in the buildings when they came down, that’s who you have to feel, how they feel,” he said.

Beckwith wasn’t sure whether he’ll be at Ground Zero on Thursday when President Obama visits, but he will be there on the 10th Anniversary, saying that day will be marked by victory.

Comments (11)
  1. wolfe says:

    besides u steve

  2. wolfe says:

    whats wrong with you people

  3. steve says:

    so you liberals have all the answers as to how the president is supposed to speak and act after a disaster? gee i wonder what a democrat president would do and say to your liking, its ok to be proud of our countries resolve at that time to go to war on terror, ok, its well known that at that time the whole country felt safer with bush in office than if there had been a liberal democrat president in office, also at that time, the entire country and the house and senate were behind going to war in Iraq and going to Afghanistan, how soon America forgets that they wanted this war then, everyone wanted payback, and the problem of iraq needed to be resolved once and for all, right or wrong, it happened on Bush`s watch and the country at that time was all for it, war is a terrible thing , its funny how the whole country wanted war then but later blamed bush for everything, you people are a bunch of un American coward traitors, so don’t compare bush to what might have been or what could have been if there was another in office, there wasn’t, he was the president we needed at the time, our nation was severely attacked and he acted very appropriately and had the strength to fight back , most Americans felt safe under his watch then if someone else had been in office, and that’s the plain truth

  4. Joe says:

    Two wind bags at 9/11 Bush and Beckwith!!

    1. Teru says:

      I hate to critisize the firefighter because I don’t believe that there is a right or wrong way to feel and he isn’t a professional speaker. Did anyone notice how insincere Bush was? There’s no warmth toward the man. He is stiff and acts like he doesn’t want to actually touch him. They heard us all right….after we finally got a competent leader.

  5. Rodin says:

    Now show us the “Mission Accomplished” shot on the USS Abraham Lincoln. As if he (Bush) wasn’t loudmouth enough. Hot air and more hot air, Useless as president and, like all of them before him with the exception of Carter (way better man after than during), useless after. May I never see this shot again. It belongs NOWHERE at this time of national pride and accomplishment.

    1. B. Bush says:

      …c’mon, Rodent, lighten up!

      1. Rodin says:

        Can I tell you, Barbara, I hate the man who has wasted 5,000 + American lives out of sheer hubris more than the one who murdered 3,000 out of hate? No, this is not something to be “light” about. If this is how you feel, I’m truly sorry for you.

        BTW: My wife is a survivor.

  6. Cribblyd says:

    LOL….You are right… can a dead man hear anything. Give the guy a break. He looks like a college frat boy up there with his mega phone.

  7. How dumb! How can the people who knocked down the buildings hear if they were dead already! LoL

    1. Rudy G. says:

      You 2 took his words WAY too lierally; he meant the whole Al-Queda organization when he said they will hear us. He meant our retaliation in Iraq and Afghanistan. You know, like “hear us roar”!

Leave a Reply to wolfe Cancel reply