Bin Laden reaction: Mother of slain soldier won't celebrate until last troop comes home
To do so would dishonor not only her son, Jose A. Torre, killed Jan. 15 in an insurgent attack in Baghdad, but the many troops who remain in Iraq and Afghanistan, carrying out the hard work of war, Torre said.
"We did get him. He’s dead. We had to go to war because of him,'' said the still-grieving mother of the late Al Qaeda leader. "But the thing that prevents me from celebrating just yet is there are still troops over there. Many men in my son’s unit are still there fighting. I won't feel comfortable until they are all home."
Torre was playing Farmville on Facebook when she noticed an alert that President Obama was preparing to make a national TV address. She switched to her homepage and saw a news story about Bin Laden's death.
She thought about her 21-year-old son, known as "Joey" to friends, and became emotional, she said. But she can't identify with the crowds of flag-waving people she's seen celebrating outside the White House, in New York City and on corners across the nation.
"This is just the beginning of us finishing the job,'' Torre said. "Until they break up the men who were following him, and the sleeper cells, and then make sure someone else doesn't pop up to take his place, then it is just not done."
For now, she offers silent prayers and remembers the son with the bright brown eyes and broad smile.
"When the last troop leaves, then we as a country can celebrate," she said.
-- Catherine Saillant
Photo: Jose A. Torre
Readers are invited to share memories about Jose A. Torre on the California's War Dead database, which chronicles the lives of more than 600 Californians who have died while supporting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.