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What families of 9/11 victims will say to Obama

The families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks will meet with President Obama Thursday.

Among them will be Jim Riches, a retired fire chief whose 29-year-old firefighter son, Jimmy Riches, was killed in the attack, and Maureen and Al Santora, the parents of 23-year-old firefighter Christopher Santora.

Special Section: The Killing of Osama bin Laden

On "The Early Show" Thursday morning, co-anchor Erica Hill spoke with Riches and the Santoras about their upcoming meeting with the president.

Riches said he wants to thank Obama for "having the backbone" to go after bin Laden.

"He promised us he would get Osama bin Laden. And he brought some joy to the 9/11 families," Riches said. "Even though it's been hard for us. There will be no closure for us because I'll always miss my son. He's never going to walk through that door. But at least there was some justice served and some accountability after nine and a half long years."

Hill said, "(Closure -) that's a word thrown around a lot this week. When you lose someone there never really is closure. But a few days on now do you feel any different at all?"

Maureen Santora said, "Well, I'm joyous that we've finally seen real justice - that the man who was the responsible for al Qaeda, and the terrorist attacks, is finally dead. I'm joyous, very joyous about that."

But do the families want to see the photos of bin Laden's body?

Al Santora said he supports the president's decision. He said he doesn't want to see the photos.

He said, "I don't think we need something else that people can rally around, and then have all the controversy and everything. He's been caught. He was killed. He's been put, you know, buried so to speak, dumped in the sea. It's over. Let's close this chapter. Let's move forward and it's a win for the world, for the free world, that this man is gone and hopefully with the next five are tried and convicted down in Gitmo, that will be the next victory for us, and the end of al Qaeda."

Maureen Santora said when she meets with the president that she wants to thank him for the military's part in the terrorist's death.

"It could have gone another way but it didn't," she said. "And we have an extraordinary military and I want to thank them for that. And I want to ask him when the trials, you know, at Guantanamo Bay, are going to begin. Because we've waited a very long time for that."

But for these families, after today's meeting, the memory of the lives of those lost in the attacks remains.

Jim said his son Jimmy was an inspiration.

"Jimmy was a firefighter," he said. "And three brothers became firefighters after 9/11 in memory of him. He was their hero before 9/11 and he was their hero after 9/11, then. I was down there at the site and I was digging up body parts and we found my son's body in March 2002, and me and my three sons, we moved his body. And hopefully I can get to tell Obama I'm a little fearful for my three sons because they're talking about closing 20 firehouses in New York City. This is the number one terror target in the world and I hope he can convince Mayor Bloomberg not to do that."

Hill asked Jim Riches what it's like for him to come to ground zero.

Jim Riches said, "It's all the memories of being down here for nine months, people don't know there's 1,000 people that never got anything. And it's a cemetery. This is the place where my son breathed his last breath and I'm proud to be an American today."

Maureen Santora said her son Christopher would have been very proud that bin Laden was captured by American soldiers.

She said, "He was a history teacher in the New York City public schools before he became a fireman. But becoming a fireman was his dream."

Al Santora added his son always wanted to be a fireman saying, "I think from the time he was, you know, a little boy, we always think that he wanted to follow in my footsteps. But he was living with four girls, his four sisters plus his mother. So maybe that was a reason why he wanted to get away from the females a little bit. We'd like to believe that it was because I was in the fire service for so long that he wanted to become a fireman."

Maureen Santora said ground zero is a "somber place to be."

"I see this as a cemetery because we still have 1,123 people who have never been identified," she said. "And this was where my son died. So for me, this will always be a cemetery. I'm glad that we are revitalizing the site. But, it's a very somber place."

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