Terrorism experts weigh in on bin Laden death

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Thousands of men and women have given the ultimate sacrifice to capture Osama bin Laden.  Now that he is dead, there is a fear of retaliation.

Many are saying it's a great day for the United States of America, but it's also time for us to not let our guard down.  In the meantime people are stopping by the Virginia War Memorial today to remember these lives lost in this fight for freedom.

The moments and images from 911 are forever etched in our minds. Thousands of lives lost. Now the mastermind behind it all, Osama bin Laden is dead. And former service men and women are reflecting on all the lives lost.

"Very humbling. It makes you feel more patriotic. It's a warm feeling to know these men and women have given their lives for our country," said Tom Barlow, a retired Sergeant in the 11th Airborne Division. He now works at the Virginia War Memorial.

Soon the names of those Virginians killed in Afghanistan will be engraved on the wall at the memorial.  Sgt. Barlow hopes bin Laden's death will only energize the country even more to unite as one.

"I hope it has a positive effect and not rekindle the terrorist war," he said.

But the threat is still there.

"We've taken the head off the snake. But there will be more heads to follow," said Colonel Bill Parrish, a homeland security professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. He used to work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"Without question, we have to be ready for a retaliation," he said.

He said that was the number one concern during his time with a counter terrorism committee.

"I would submit right now there are cells that are operating to commit plans to execute and attack," he said.

So even after the death of bin Laden, he urges us to be vigilant. And never forget those moments in history. But he knows today is a great day. Vindication for those serving today. And the lives lost to protect our freedom, over the years.

"It send a signal around the world," he said.

Leaders here at the Virginia War Memorial are waiting on guidance from the General Assembly before posting the names of the men and women who died in Afghanistan on this memorial.

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