Family of U.S.S. Cole victim reacts to Bin Laden death

Kenneth Clodfelter
Kenneth Clodfelter

HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - The family of the Virginia man killed in the Al Qaeda backed bombing of the U.S.S. Cole says they're relieved by the news of Osama Bin Laden's death.

Kenneth Clodfelter was one of 17 sailors killed when the Cole exploded back in October 2000. Monday morning, Kenneth's parents called the death of Bin Laden -- joyous and justified.

"I've cried and cried and I don't have anymore tears -- just joy," said Kenneth's mother, Gloria.

"I was just numb by it -- like is this for real," said Kenneth's dad, John.

Gloria and John Clodfelter say, a heavy weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

"It feels like this evil has finally been taken away," said Gloria.

For nearly 11 years the couple has been waiting for terrorist leader, Osama Bin Laden to be found.

"It helps but we'll never have Kenneth anymore," said John.

Their son, Kenneth, was one of 17 sailors who died when a bomb exploded on the U.S.S. Cole.

"I just couldn't believe it. I wanted to scream so loud and ask why - but who am I to ask why. We just don't know how things are going to happen," said Gloria.

Bin Laden is believed to have been behind the attack.

"Knowing they got the person that gave the order to do something like this -- it's a great deal of relief," said John.

Although relieved -- they say the pain of their son being murdered is alive.

"He was my baby. He just brought so much joy because he was outgoing and so friendly," said Gloria.

The family keeps Kenneth's medals and ashes close. They hope to see him again, one day.

"I feel like he's a little bit here with us because it is him," said Gloria.

Kenneth Clodfelter was a hull technician for the Navy. He was 21 when he died during that explosion.

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