Early this morning, five Berlin-born soldiers, still on active duty, weighed in on the death of Osama bin Laden.
Cpl. Colin Farrington has been an active-duty Marine for four years and nine months. He will get out of the military on May 22, but has served two deployments to Afghanistan in both the Kandahar and Helmand provinces.
When he found out Osama bin Laden was dead, he was happy, but also said this does not end the war on terror.
"It is a great thing, it is absolutely great," Farrington said. "It is a huge step for the war against al-Qaida, even though in my opinion he was not a huge part of the war for the past 10 years because he has been non-existent. It is very good that he was killed because he was a mass murderer, way before September 11th. He was a mass murderer, he was a leader of a terrorist orginization, he's killed thousands of his own people. I am very happy that he was finally brought to justice and it is a very good day for the United States and the U.S. military.
"I know many Marines and soldiers who never made it back. I've stood at the ramp ceremonies and saluted the caskets being loaded onto the planes. I feel like it does do them justice. Any big military win, any big terrorist leader taken down, does justice for them."
Edward Mosher has been in the military for the last 15 years. He has been on two deployments and is still serving. He just got home from Iraq in July. He is a Sergeant First Class and a recruiter for the Tennessee National Guard.
"I feel like justice has been served for all the losses the American people have suffered since 9/11," Mosher said. "It feels good getting rid of Sadaam and Bin Laden ... they deserved to go. It was about time.
"We need to continue the fight on terrorism. We have not had another attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 ... let the soldiers keep them occupied over in their country, not ours. I would like to thank the residents of Berlin, especially Ginny Chant, for their support while I was abroad."
Farrington said while he is happy, he hopes the United States remains vigilant.
"I'm still trying to gather exactly how I feel," Farrington said. "It's funny, it's a great thing that he's dead, and it's a huge step for the war against al-Qaida, but I just really hope that people aren't thinking that this is the end and we have won the war."
Nick Barwikowski, CPT, Infantry, Assistant Battalion Operations Officer (Plans)
2-8 Infantry, 2nd Brigade - 4th Infantry Division, also said this is not the end of terror.
"I am happy bin Laden has been hunted down, and I feel justice has been served in his death, specifically that he was face to face with an American at the time of his death, not by some anonymous bomb," said Barwikowski, whose brother and father are also in the military. "However his death only represents one thing, the death of the mastermind of multiple attacks against the United States. It does not signify the end of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Al-Qaida still exists, the Taliban still exists, fanaticals still exist, (and) they will still continue to operate. I urge people to understand that though his death is a great victory for the U.S. and justice has been served, unfortunately his death has little to do with world peace, and will have minimal impact on the GWOT.
"I believe the only warning Americans need, is to continue to be vigilant. Like I mentioned earlier his death will not end terrorism. For my brothers who have not made it home, justice has been served, but I can honestly say bin Laden's death does not validate their deaths anymore than they already have been. I can say with confidence that every U.S. serviceman's death directly led to the death or capture of anti-coalition forces, and prevented untold future attacks against The United States."
Barwikowski's brother, Air Force Lt. Alexander Barwikowski, had similar sentiments.
"My feelings towards the death of Osama bin Laden are probably similar to the majority of the American people," he said. "He was a person of interest that needed to leave this world because of all the suffering he has burdened on mankind. It's a travesty that he, one individual, was able to inflict, through his leadership, terrorist attacks around the world. As we know as Americans, there will always be the threat of terrorists and terrorist groups, but it is a sobering feeling knowing he is no longer for this world physically.
"I personally think that there will never be justice for the terrorist attacks on our civilians and the lost lives of our troops. The only justice would be for us to have never lost them. That's why we need to ensure that we support our troops, leadership and government to help protect America and our Allies."
Berlin native Matthew Jarmon, CPT, IN: Chief of Operations, 2-508 Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT) 82nd Airborne Division, had this to say:
"I'm incredibly thrilled that we were able to eliminate Osama bin Laden. It speaks volumes to the tenacity and resolve of the American people. This single action demonstrates that regardless of time and money, if you threaten the values, ethics, and morals of the United States of America or kill its people, we will hunt you down and bring you to justice regardless of where you hide.
"I would hope that this will bring some closure to those who lost loved ones at the WTC, Pentagon and in that fateful Pennsylvania field knowing that the mastermind who orchestrated the murders of thousands of Americans over the last several decades has been destroyed."