Even before the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden, the photo of the flaming World Trade Center towers had been removed from a Newport Beach man's wall.
It once served as a bin Laden "wanted" poster for Dover Shores resident Lyle Davis, who hung it prominently in his office until he recently redecorated.
"Unfortunately there is very little closure for me until Osama bin Laden is confirmed dead or is killed," he told the Daily Pilot close to the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
But by May 1's announcement, the terrorist leader's prominence had already diminished for Davis, 48, and for his friend, fellow Newport resident Rob Stewart, 45. Both were near the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and drove west together when air travel was halted.
"I'm relieved," Davis said. "But I feel now it's more of a symbolic victory than anything else."
Stewart didn't celebrate. While being that close to death forever altered his perspective, he said, he didn't really ascribe the murders to bin Laden alone.