When New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin heard the news Sunday night that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces, he couldn't help but recall his personal connection to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, which saw his son, Tim, situated on the 60th floor of the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks.
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Tim was one of the lucky ones who escaped before the buildings collapsed, but the New York Daily News reported Monday that Coughlin, who has spent time with injured soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and voyaged to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit with troops, became emotional Monday during an interview on Sirius NFL Radio's Opening Drive.
"It's not an easy thing to put into words because of all the emotions that run when you think of the flag, when you think of 9/11, when you think of Ground Zero, when you think of all the people who've been affected by this," Coughlin said.
"But one of the things that does put the goosebumps on top of my goosebumps is the reaction of all Americans to this news and what's going on on the college campuses, what has taken place spontaneously in downtown New York City and Washington, D.C., to ... the Mets-Philles game last night, those type of things. It just about takes your breath away.
"You think of the patriotism, you think of the sacrifices that have been made by our servicemen and women who have put their lives on the line every day and who need our tremendous support and will always get it from me and I'm sure from many, many Americans. But to think that this has been accomplished and that this individual has paid the ultimate price, and hopefully we will continue to be able to dismantle Al Qaeda and any terrorist organization ... just the reaction of the American people has ... been an incredible thing for us to witness."