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Osama bin Laden's death symbolic to those with ties 9-11

Monday, May 02, 2011

For those in the Valley with deep ties to 9/11 the death of Osama bin Laden was very symbolic.

Several reminders of 9/11 are displayed at Clovis Police and Fire headquarters, including a poster showing the 343 New York City firefighters who died.

Former New York City firefighter Andy Isolano said, "Unfortunately 13 of my friends are on there."

Isolano said his friends would be proud of the efforts to bring down Bin Laden. "I'd like to think these smiles are what they're doing right now. Way, way, way too many names."

Isolano now works as a Community Service Officer for Clovis PD. Terror threats remain but Andy believes we live in a safer world because Bin Laden is gone. "The thing that I believe has happened is the fuel to the fire has been eliminated. Is it a completely closed book? No I think unfortunately we're going to see more situations, more problems but not to the degree we've seen in the past."

Lt. Commander Otis Vince Tolbert died at the Pentagon on 9/11. The new Joint Intelligence Center at MacDill Air Force base in Tampa now bears the Lemoore native's name. Shari Tolbert, their three kids and Vince's family were all on hand for the ceremony.

Shari told Action News, "I guess now the Bin Laden part is done. It was not lost on me that the Navy was directly involved. I noted that while we were watching. I'm just so proud of the intelligence community. Well done."

Todd Beamer Park in Northeast Fresno honors another 9/11 hero. Beamer was overheard saying "let's roll" before United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. Today kids splash around at Todd Beamer Park without a worry in the world. Todd Beamer spent two semesters at Fresno State.

The Tolbert family has become good friends with Andy Isolano. Andy says they help each other get through tough times whenever memories of 9/11 are stirred.

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osama bin laden, local, dale yurong
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