Nightly News | May 03, 2011
>>> bringing it now back to this country, the death of bin laden has brought a lot of memories back from 9/11. and perhaps you remember the story in the news from back then from middletown , new jersey, the local train station in the new york suburb. the parking lot was filled with the cars of commuters who went to work in the city that day but never came home. those of us who grew up there remember the world trade towers going up on the horizon, and they became kind of our north star . that is, until they came down. nbc's rehema ellis went there today to gauge reaction to this news.
>> reporter: middletown , new jersey is the kind of place people move to to escape trouble. but on september 11th this town of 66,000, an hour from ground zero , was hit hard. 37 middletown residents died in the world trade towers, including mary lou byrd's nephew, brendon, who was visiting one tower, and her oldest sister roseanne, who was working in the other.
>> she would have been 52 on april 27th .
>> reporter: with the news of osama bin laden 's death, she says, there was a range of emotions.
>> i was in disbelief. it was a little shocking, and it just brought everything back.
>> reporter: in middletown even the train station can be a reminder of those who were lost that day. dozens of commuters' cars whose drivers would never return. when i was here in 2001 , this local church suffered an almost unimaginable tragedy. st. mary's church alone lost 26 parishioners in one day. that's more people than the whole town lost in world war ii and vietnam combined. today this garden and memorial is another reminder of middletown 's pain. at a local diner nearly everyone has some connection to those who died on 9/11. including victor amato, who welcomed the news of bin laden 's death.
>> i was thrilled. it was the best news i've heard this years.
>> reporter: but mary lou byrd says the pain of losing brendon and roseanne will never go away.
>> we have our entire lives to continue without them with us. and that won't change with bin laden 's death.
>> reporter: reflections from one family and one town, still coping with loss, one day at a time. rehema ellis, nbc news, middletown , new jersey.