A year after Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs, Valley residents say his death made America safer, but acknowledge other threats on the horizon.
"I'm just glad he's dead," said Marietta resident Tammy Williams, 40. "One less thing for us to worry about."
Marietta resident Cloa Nicholes, 21, was home from school on Sept. 11, 2001. She recalls being "terrified" by the attacks in which al-Qaida terrorists turned hijacked planes into weapons of mass destruction. That memory informed her reaction a year ago today when she learned bin Laden was dead.
"I was excited. I actually celebrated," she said. "We just had a little cookout. Everything was good with America again."
Marietta College senior Dante Sherman, 23, of Cleveland, said he had mixed feelings upon hearing the news - happiness that bin Laden had been dealt with but frustration over the mass celebrations he saw on television.
"I would hope that we don't make (the anniversary) a public event like we did the initial situation, because I think that makes America look bad to the world," he said.
Nicholes acknowledged the contrast between the event and the reaction.
"It's unfortunate that somebody ended up having to die, but it was his own fault," she said.
Reno resident Charles Ellem, 79, said the killing of bin Laden has made America safer - and not just because one man was dead.
"I'm tickled to death that the terrorists know that we don't give up and that it's payback," he said.
Intelligence experts have said al-Qaida currently lacks the ability to execute another attack on the scale of Sept. 11 on U.S. soil, but that the organizations and its offshoots are building strength in some areas and would like to strike here again.
"I think definitely that they're going to try, but I don't think that they have the resources," Ellem said.
Reno resident Sandra Wilson, 71, said she was proud of the SEALs who carried out the operation but doesn't necessarily feel safer today than she did a year ago.
"I'm sure there's somebody else coming on that's equally as rotten," she said.
Wilson also expressed a lack of confidence in the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration.
As the anniversary approached, the killing of bin Laden has become a political topic, with President Obama and supporters pointing to it as a success for the administration. That's drawn some criticism - and not just from Republicans - who say the topic shouldn't be campaign fodder.
"Everything was in place, and all (Obama) had to do was say 'go' or whatever it was. He did nothing," she said.
To Ellem, it's fair game.
"Any politician would do it if they had that kind of ammunition, so he's not any different," he said.
Sherman said it's reasonable to discuss the issue when looking at the president's record.
"We set a goal and we met that goal - because there are some things that this presidency did not meet," he said.