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Family, Friends of 9/11 Victim Paul Sloan React to Bin Laden's Death

Amid painful memories, Muffy Sloan of Novato said she is pleased Al-Qaeda chief is gone.

Patricia “Muffy” Sloan experienced a rush of emotion Sunday night when she watched President Barack Obama announce on TV the killing of Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Sloan’s son, Paul, was one of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.

“He’s where he deserves to be,” she said of bin Laden. “At least he’s off the face of the Earth.”

Paul Sloan, a 1993 San Marin High School graduate, was working for the financial services firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, which had offices on the 89th floor of the South Tower.

He was one of several Marin County residents killed in the terrorist attacks that day. Sloan and Jack Keohane (Class of 1978) were victims from ; Keohane, a New Jersey resident who was an attorney for a Swiss company, was struck and killed by falling debris near the base of the towers. Novato resident Jeffrey Collman was a flight attendant on one of the planes that struck the towers, and San Rafael’s Lauren Grandcolas was on Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Muffy Sloan could not experience Sunday’s news with her husband, Ron, because he was on a flight home from Houston. She was watching a movie when her friend Terri Walsh told her to turn on the news. Muffy said she texted her husband.

“I’m surprised it took this long,” she said. “They found him in a stupid palace as opposed to a hole in the ground, but I’m just glad they got him. You knew they were eventually going to get him, but after a while you stopped thinking about it.”

At a Novato Mexican restaurant, brothers Alex and Henry Hautau had a drink in Paul Sloan’s honor after they heard the news. Alex Hautau was one of Sloan’s best friends at San Marin High and Henry, who is seven years older, helped Sloan get job with his company in the late 1990s.

“It’s bittersweet, I guess,” Alex Hautau said of Bin Laden’s demise. “He probably went out better than he should have. He didn’t get what he deserved. He deserved a lot worse.”

Henry Hautau said his brother was highly emotional Sunday. “He’s ecstatic, but wishes it had happened quicker,” Henry Hautau said.

Only a three weeks ago, about 150 friends and family of Paul Sloan gathered in his memory to participate in the Emerald Nuts Across the Bay 12K, a run between Sausalito and San Francisco. Sloan ran in the race back when it was known as Houlihan’s to Houlihan’s 8-Miler.

“Every year, people come from New York City, from Rhode Island and other places to run in his honor,” said Henry Hautau, owner of Finnegan’s Marin bar/restaurant on Grant Avenue in Novato. “After the race we went to Finnegan’s and had a really nice party for the Sloans. It means a lot to us to continue to do this each year.”

Paul Sloan was an academic standout and football star at San Marin. He wore No. 78 and wreaked havoc on opponents, earned all-league status and went on to star at Brown University in Providence, R.I. He played on the offensive line for the football team there, joined a fraternity and majored in history before graduating in 1997.

With Henry Hautau’s help, Sloan got a job with Sutro & Co. in San Francisco. He worked on the syndicate desk while Hautau worked in institutional bond sales.

“He worked there six months or a year before he got the job he had on Sept. 11,” Hautau said.

In the 48 hours after the attacks, friends and family — Paul was one of four Sloan children — convened at the Sloan home on Novato’s west side, Hautau recalled. He heard that Paul had been on the phone with his parents when the phone line went dead. Hautau was booked on a flight to New York City on Sept. 12 for business and had planned to get together with Sloan.

“Everybody was hoping for the best,” Hautau said. “There were a lot of message boards up and people were looking for other people on the Internet. There was a lot of misinformation, which was tough. We never really found out. There was no information at all.”

Muffy Sloan’s friend Terri Walsh, whose daughter went to San Marin with Paul Sloan, has served as committee chair for a commemorative brick project on the San Marin campus. The group that built the San Marin High Paul Sloan 9/11 Memorial next to the football field in 2002 kicked off a brick initiative a few months ago to beautify and complete a memorial to honor Sloan and Keohane.

Walsh said she has felt compelled to help make sure Novato remembers Sloan. She said Sunday’s news was important to all of Sloan’s friends and family, who support a perpetual scholarship in Paul’s name at San Marin High.

“I think it’s a sign of relief, but (the Sloans) know it’s not over,” Walsh said. “As Muffy has said, Paul was not a hero, he was just a fine young man. He lives in all our hearts.”

The memorial site at San Marin consists of a flagpole next to the track and football field, a memorial plaque and a bench. Walsh said four people signed up Sunday to buy a brick in the hour after Obama’s speech.

“Our goal is to fill the area around the flagpole with commemorative bricks honoring Paul and Jack,” Walsh said. “Not only will the decorative bricks make the site look better, they will also eliminate the need for site maintenance which has been handled completely by volunteers to date.”

There is space for 250 personalized bricks, and the committee would like to see them all in place before a remembrance of Sloan’s birthday on July 30 and the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in September.

“Now I think it’s going to be a good year to celebrate Paul,” Walsh said.

For information on how you can buy a commemorative brick for the memorial, call 892-3585 or check out the Facebook page. Also, there is another site in his honor on Facebook.

DonnaPullan May 02, 2011 at 06:04 AM
As we all take a moment to reflect on the capture and demise of Osama bin Laden my family hopes & prays that our community will pull together and support this cause. The Sloan family is in our thoughts & prayers. God Bless America.
DonnaPullan May 02, 2011 at 06:06 AM
My 12 year old son had these thoughts that he'd like to share; Bin Laden's bounty has been on his head for 9 years, 7 months, and 20 days. We've got him now! God bless America, all the soldiers are in our thoughts and prayers... posted by JD Pullan
Jane Gray May 02, 2011 at 06:27 AM
I can only imagine the hurt and anguish for your family to learn of Pauls death. I am sorry, that is from my heart and soul. I am glad the world will not have Osama, but we do have many thousands more to combat. With two grandsons in this war voluntarily, I know what fear can be for my own loved ones, they went to serve our country, to fight for freedom and what is right with America. In todays troubled times, we must never forget those we lost, and never forget what we are fighting for. I send my deepest condolenses to you, and the other families of those lost but not forgotton. God bless you and yours, Sincerely, Jan Gay, Marin Co.
Jane Gray May 02, 2011 at 06:29 AM
11:27pm on Sunday, May 1, 2011 I can only imagine the hurt and anguish for your family to learn of Pauls death. I am sorry, that is from my heart and soul. I am glad the world will not have Osama, but we do have many thousands more to combat. With two grandsons in this war voluntarily, I know what fear can be for my own loved ones, they went to serve our country, to fight for freedom and what is right with America. In todays troubled times, we must never forget those we lost, and never forget what we are fighting for. I send my deepest condolenses to you, and the other families of those lost but not forgotton. God bless you and yours, Sincerely, Jane Gray, Marin Co.
Dave May 02, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Bring the Troops home. Build Roads, Medical Clinics and Schools in both countries. It's a win win and will save Billions based on what we spend today. Respect goes to the team that pulled this operation off. Your risk paid off, Thank You for your service and dedication.
GraceAnn Walden May 02, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Excellent story by Brent on short notice. This is what sets him apart as a great journalist. For the Novato families who lost loved ones and for people today, who have sons or daughters in these wars, let the healing begin.
Austin Morris May 02, 2011 at 04:41 PM
As we take measured solace in the retribution taken with the dispatch of O.B.L.; may we not forget ‘the Paul Sloan’s’ male & female who are the embodiment of America. Who by either circumstance or by righteous cause gave their life for a greater good. God Bless America !!
Terry Simpkins May 02, 2011 at 08:05 PM
We met the Sloan's after 9/11. But in the time since we feel as though we knew Paul since birth. Our hearts go out to the Sloan's on this day in history. God bless Paul Sloan and his family and freinds. SHOW YOUR LOVE , BUY A BRICK Terry and Pat Simpkins
Virginia Travers May 03, 2011 at 02:35 AM
I find it hard to fathom that President Obama's military forces managed in 4 years what President George Bush was uncapable of doing in 8.
localmom May 03, 2011 at 04:41 AM
President Obama has been our President for 2 years, not 4. And the first parts of the actionable intelligence that the military developed was obtained during Bush's presidency. So I'd say it was an ongoing effort in which both Presidents did all they could. My heart goes out to the Sloans and all the other families who lost loved ones on that terrible day. I hope they all find some measure of peace knowing that they were never forgotten by our country.
Scott May 03, 2011 at 11:37 PM
Really? You think the only, or main, reason we were able to get bin Laden was Obama? Come on. Get rational and stop the politicking. The reason we were able to get him was due to the military and intelligence agencies that worked diligently over 9+ years to track him down. Obama didn't come into office, wave his magic wand and suddenly told the military and intelligence agencies where to find him. Your knee-jerk hatred of Bush is clouding rational thought. All the information the white house is releasing says we were able to track him down by starting with info gleaned years ago through interrogation of captured enemy combatants in Gitmo. It's quite humorous that at the time that information was being obtained, Obama was criticizing Bush for obtaining it. This was a national effort that spanned both presidencies (one could argue Clinton deserves some credit for getting the CIA to start looking for him, but not really since he let him go) there's a lot of credit to go around.
Jane Gray May 04, 2011 at 12:29 AM
Dear S, I tend to see what you mean, I was just reading the parts on line of the book- battle at "Tora Bora" Pakistan, when the military blundered and let him get away there, that was when he escaped to Pakistan. I think all the Presidents had a hand in it to capture him, but did notice Obama did take the credit and mentioned the different people who did the work later- after he gave his speech. He is failing to a lot of people and needed this boost, I don't begrudge him that though. I think it is sad that Osama's preteen daughter was in a place where Osama had her, where she witnessed her dad's killing. He (Osama) has come out as a spoiled, laid back person who thought of HIMSELF first when they were fleeing for example (read about The battle of Tora Bora by Peter Bergen on line here) Sad, all the deaths caused by one man and his ideology and his followers. I would rather now focas on the loss of this family, the loved ones in Marin who lost to this viper Osama! He was a wolf in Sheep's clothing,and to think of all those men , groppling in some cave, as he was living in a mansion with his family ? I am all for Diane Feinstien questions, about why? Pakistan did not know he was there under their noses in a military town? Retiree's go for walks, they must have known that SOMEONE WAS IN THAT COMPOUND! We are too trusting,and we give out money like it means little to the poor in our country who are so often in need. We as American's can learn from this ,,,, will we? jg
Jane Gray May 04, 2011 at 12:50 AM
One more thought on this subject of Killing Osama. That sea burial, was condemned by some of the leaders of the Muslim clergy and radicals, today on news,,, well, I have to say that none of them were around to tell us how they would do it, except for those who said it wasn't in keeping with Muslim law? NO one told us how to bury over 3000 of our own in New York in the towers , murdered and blown to bits, we did not have any choice did we? I personally really resent it when other countries come around after the fact. Why didn't they work harder to see to it, that Osama was caught by them , get the reward,and then they could have buryed him in any fashion they chose. We seem to be on egg shells too much of the time,when our children ,men and women are dieing , injured for life much of the time, fighting for our freedom here in the USA,and should get top prioity over who buryed whom were and how- who was a mass murderer! jg
Samira Sharif May 04, 2011 at 10:10 PM
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Firstly I want to express that as a mother of a young child, I can't imagine how painful it is to lose a child. It is probably the most difficult thing a mother can experience. Many who've experienced the loss of a loved one continue to carry the pain and resentment till the end of their life. True healing can only occur when we let go of the anger, pain and resentment in which bonds us for a lifetime. The concept and benefits of forgiveness have been explored in religious thought, social sciences and medicine. Secondly I would like to shed light on propaganda and corporate-owned media, which many of my fellow neighbors in Novato rely on getting news from. I understand that to many Americans (and other people around the world) the news of Osama Bin Laden's capture was a big triumph, but I urge you to open your eyes to a different reality. Yes God bless America for we will need it. We're at a point where we need to pull away from the old way of thinking, hence the blind faith we once had in our government authorities and mainstream media news. We have been fooled again,
Samira Sharif May 04, 2011 at 10:25 PM
I would like to leave some very important links that will hopefully shed some light on the TRUTH, there are many families of 9/11 survivors who mourn and have been fighting for truth since the tragedy of September 11. Here's Press release from white house announcing they will not release important photographic evidence, why? is not a shock that Saddam was trialed then executed, yet the most wanted terrorist leader is thrown to sea? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13287748 Official firefighters of 911 united with architects & engineers http://firefightersfor911truth.org Our former assistant secretary of defense for 3 different administrations speaks TRUTH http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24622 and for the Patriots out there who believe in America & it's constitution http://patriotsquestion911.com/ DEMAND TRUTH,
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) May 04, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Wouldn't it be nice if this string of comments could just be in support of the Sloan family rather than a political tug of war?
Patty Maher May 05, 2011 at 02:08 AM
Wouldn't it? Yes.
martyn olszewski July 25, 2011 at 04:23 AM
I am deeply saddend by the loss of this fine young man. I had attended school in Novato when Paul was a Senior at SMHS. Although I did not know him personally, I know that he was reknowned for his inate athletic ability and his academic achievements. He was one of those guys that I wanted to be like "When I grew up." I joined the Marine Corps in 2003 and volunteered for two tours in Iraq. I hope that my service will somehow pay tribute to the Sloan family. May God watch over him and bless him. I am very saddened by his absence.
martyn olszewski July 25, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Rodger that Brent...this site is supposed to be a tribute to a fine young man that the communitiy was very proud of. There is no room for politics here.
Jules August 29, 2011 at 09:13 PM
I met Paul when I worked for his father. He was 15 and I was 23...I still think of the sweet teenager I knew and am saddened his life was cut short.

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