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Family of Kentuckian killed on 9/11 calls bin Laden's death a joyous moment

By: Dave Spencer Email
By: Dave Spencer Email

An eastern Kentucky family, who lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks, and another loved one in Afghanistan, is reacting to the death of Osama bin Laden.

Andrea Earhart Stauter says she was stunned while watching TV last night to learn that he'd been killed.

Stauter said, "I was in disbelief, did this happen? Well it's on TV. I flipped to other stations. I said, O.K. it did happen, he is dead."

Stauter lost her brother at the hands of terrorist mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Naval First Class Petty Officer Edward Thomas Earhart, who was from Rowan County, died in the attack at the Pentagon.

His cousin, Navy Seal Collin Thomas, later died in Afghanistan while fighting in the war on terrorism.

27 NEWSFIRST spoke to Clyde Thomas, the uncle of both men. Thomas says when he heard the news of bin Laden's death, he was proud of the American special forces who carried out the mission.

"I thought, this is great. I was right with the people that were jumping for joy in Washington and New York," Clyde Thomas said. "It was personal to those two areas, and this country, and my family."

Clyde Thomas also said it was appropriate Navy Seals carried out the orders to kill bin Laden, since Edward Earhart and Collin Thomas were both members in the Navy.

Both say the news of his death brings them closer to getting the closure they desperately seek.

"It's some closure," says Stauter. "It does help because you know he was the mastermind."

Thomas says, "It will never be complete closure, but that goes a long way in the death of my two nephews."

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