Keith Fairben - Paramedic at New York Presbyterian Hospital
Keith and his dad Ken hanging out at the FireHouse.
Keith Fairben was a paramedic on 9/11/2001. He died saving lives in the worst mass murder on American soil.
I believe it is really important that those most affected by what happened that terrible day, and the ensuing Global War on Terror, be heard. Their voices matter. Diane, Keith's mom, shared her thoughts on Osama bin Laden's death with me the other day here. As I noted there, I did talk to Keith's dad, Ken, as news was coming in of the killing of OBL, but that was off the record.
Ken and I have now talked - on the record. His thoughts on Osama bin Laden's death, and other related issues:
When I first heard the news, I was sceptical. I still am. Right from the get go we heard two different versions of what happened. All we have heard is the politicians. If it were a commanding Naval officer of the SEALs that gave the briefing - who stood up and said "We did it" - I would believe it...but no, not from the current administration...There have been conflicting stories being told. First it was a missile attack. Then it was Special Ops. OBL was armed, then he wasn't. The White House from what I understand is NOT going to release any photos. If in fact the Navy SEALs did kill bin Laden, then I say to each and everyone of them that was directly involved in this operation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. May God bless and protect you always.
They say that bin Laden has been buried at sea with full religious rights...MY GOD, what rights did he and his terrorist followers give to all those that they murdered....What about the journalist Daniel Pearlman that was beheaded and dragged through the streets? What of those innocents that were hung from a bridge? No, I think that what should have been done, was to display bin Laden and send a clear message to all his followers..We will get you, regardless of how long it takes.
Does this change anything? Absolutely nothing. It will not bring my son back. From now on, we will need to be more vigilant. The home grown terrorists will now show their true colors.
How could the Pakistanis not know that bin Laden was there? All the millions of dollars that we have been pouring into Pakistan, and these fools did not see this compound right next to their police station, their military compound? I guess I am suppose to believe that too? Screw them. Not one more red cent should they get from us.
Yes, I am bitter. Am I the only American who feels this way? Why are we so afraid of world opinion? This government is an embarrassment, and it was a disgrace that Obama was at Ground Zero. It was all about politics, all about re-election. Losing my son, his death, was not about politics for me. It was very personal.
Keith was a caring person, who would help anyone, anywhere, but as to what he would think about bin Laden being killed? He wouldn't be rejoicing the loss of a life, but given that, he would want tangible proof that he is dead. He would applaud that someone who was as ruthless, tyrannical, sadistic as bin Laden, was stopped. Keith, given the choice between bin Laden dead or alive, would have preferred that he be caught alive, and made to pay for what he did to his co-workers from that day. For justice to be seen to be served.
As for 'closure'? I hate that word. There is no closure. 'Closure' is when you sign the papers on a house. It is not about a human life. To talk of 'closure' in terms of the loss of a much-loved human life, would mean that person never existed. How do you 'close' on the loss of one so loved as Keith? You don't. You don't ever 'close' on a human life.
There will never be closure for me. I miss my son every day.
To learn more about Keith, go to previous columns here and here.