Staff reports

Mary Fetchet, the New Canaan social worker who formed a national support group for the families of the 9/11 victims after her 24-year-old son was killed in the World Trade Center attack, said Sunday night there was an enormous sense of relief at the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.

“I think everyone is shocked,” she told Hearst Connecticut Media Group after hearing the news from her husband and her children by phone. She said she waited to watch President Obama’s televised address to make sure the reports were true.

“I’m relieved, especially for all of our families and that our country is able to have some closure,” Fetchet said in a phone interview. “We still have to be vigilant, but I am relieved he is no longer alive to create the fear of another attack.”

Fetchet noted that the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is approaching. “It was very unsettling to have him at large,” she said. Bin Laden’s death will help bring a sense of closure for many of the victims’ families, she said.

Fetchet is the founding director of Voices of September 11, which is headquartered in New Canaan. The grass-roots family advocacy group provides support for over 11,000 members. The international organization serves as a clearinghouse of information for 9/11-related issues, offers links to related resources and provides an expanding range of services.

Fetchet’s son, Brad, an equity trader, died in the attacks. She was one of the most forceful advocates for an official investigation into 9/11, attending many of the hearings held by the national commission examining the terrorist attacks.