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West Town bar patrons applaud news of bin Laden’s death

Local comedian Junior Stopka stood and applauded at a West Town bar as President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden.

“I think it’s about the right time America got together and nailed this punk,” said Stopka, 29, at Cleo’s Bar in 1900 block of West Chicago.

Most the other 20 bar patrons also applauded the news.

Gabriel Ponce, 28 of Chicago, who served two terms in the U.S. Marines in Iraq also was excited. He came into the bar before it closed.

“This drink goes out to the people who started this with me, to those who finished the job after me . . . and to those who died,” Ponce said.

Carlos Roman, 31, a bar patron said: “I’m glad we got something. (Bin Laden)was our No. 1 target. Props for Obama, he never lost sight.”

But Roman was skeptical the killing would make big changes in fighting terrorism.

“Have we really given closure to anything? America is no longer safe. We are at war, we are war with terrorism... that (bin Laden’s death) doesn’t accomplish victory.”

Roman’s friend, Will Zarco, 31, also was skeptical of the accomplishment.

“It’s not going to make a difference. It’s just going to start a new era of terror. We don’t know if the second in command is still out there. We don’t know what their Plan B is.”

Bartender Maggie Ednie said she was surprised about the death. “It was such a shock,’’ Ednie said. “I had kind of forgotten about him.”

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