Carole and Jesse Reuben go to the Pentagon Memorial so often that they've become volunteers to help visitors.
But this week’s visit was different. It was the first since the announcement that U.S. troops killed Osama Bin Laden.
Their son, 40-year-old Todd Reuben, of Potomac, Md., was a lawyer on a business trip to Los Angeles. He left twin sons, then 11 and now almost ready to graduate from college; a wife; and his parents. He also left a big hole in their lives that the news of bin Laden’s death does little to fill.
“I was happy the crowds were happy and jumping up and down about their country and I’m happy for them, but at the same time, it’s bittersweet for us,” Jesse Reuben said.
“Sadness, loss, emptiness, a feeling of never being able to see Todd again, ever having him in our lives visibly,” Carole Reuben explained. “He’s in our thoughts and our hearts all the time.”
Many Americans feel that President Barack Obama was right when he said “justice was done” by killing bin Laden, but for the Reubens, the word “closure" really isn’t appropriate.
“We are happy about what happened to bin Laden, but we don’t have closure as long as our son is not here,” Jesse Reuben said.
“It’s not closure for us,” Carole Reuben said. “There will never be a closure because there’s no way of bringing someone back. Todd is gone. There will be closure for the country, for those who didn’t lose a loved one, but not for us.”
The Reubens said Obama is expected to speak at the Pentagon Memorial on Sept. 11 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragedy. They Reubens plan to be there.