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‘I expected to be more relieved’

Anna Rasmussen-Stansbury, a Hinsdale resident whose husband, Bob Rasmussen, died in the 2001 World Trade Center attack, said she wasn't prepared for the tangle of emotions after Osama bin Laden's death was announced. “I can’t say I’m not happy that he’s dead. ... But, it was the sadness I didn’t expect.” (He

Anna Rasmussen-Stansbury, a Hinsdale resident whose husband, Bob Rasmussen, died in the 2001 World Trade Center attack, said she wasn't prepared for the tangle of emotions after Osama bin Laden's death was announced. “I can’t say I’m not happy that he’s dead. ... But, it was the sadness I didn’t expect.” (He

Bob Rasmussen, left, died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. His son Jack was 30 months old at the time.

When the news of Osama bin Laden’s death reached Hinsdale resident Anna Rasmussen-Stansbury, an overwhelming feeling of profound sadness took her by surprise.

“I expected to be more relieved,” Rasmussen-Stansbury said. “I can’t say I’m not happy that he’s dead or that I don’t feel justified he’s dead. But, it was the sadness I didn’t expect.”

Rasmussen-Stansbury’s late husband, Bob Rasmussen, was killed in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Rasmussen, 42, was on business in the south tower at the World Trade Center. In addition to his wife, he left behind three children – daughter Taylor, 7, and sons Jack, 2, and Sam, 1.

Life has changed significantly for the family since then. Anna married Chris Stansbury, forming a combined family of five children. Bin Laden’s death came at an interesting time for her, she said, as a friend recently pointed out how much her oldest son, Jack, has mannerisms similar to those of his late father.

“When I look at him, all I see is Bob,” Rasmussen-Stansbury said. “He was 30 months old when his dad died, but he has the same quiet thoughtfulness that his dad had. He has the same blond hair and blue eyes – and even talks with the same curve out of his mouth as Bob did.”

Rasmussen-Stansbury said she talked to Jack this morning about his feelings about bin Laden’s death, and his response surprised her.

“He said he didn’t know if an eye for an eye was the right thing to do,” she said.

About two years after the terrorist attack, her younger son, Sam, was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy.

Though his father passed away before Sam was diagnosed, Rasmussen-Stansbury said she knows Bob is helping to watch over and take care of him.

“You can’t anticipate how sadness like this is going to grip you,” Rasmussen-Stansbury said. “It’s hard not having Bob with us, but we had a lot of tender family moments over Easter this year.”

bdoyle@tribune.com

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