WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 02, 2011, 04:03 PM

Fargo family remembers loved one lost on 9-11

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - No one is wrestling more with the emotions today of the Bin Laden capture and death, than those many families who lost loved ones on 9-11. 42-year old Robert Rasmussen is remembered every day by those who called him son, husband, and father. The Cass County native and NDSU grad died in the Twin Towers on 9-11.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Tonight, his family talks with WDAY 6 Reporter Kevin Wallevand about Bin Laden's death and for the first time since 9/11, we hear from Robert's mother. Think back to less than 24-hours ago, when we all started hearing and watching the details of the Bin Laden death. Then, imagine you are someone who lost a son in the towers that morning at the hands of that terrorist.

Anyone driving by the Elizabeth and Jerry Protextor home in Fargo today saw a subtle but powerful gesture. After a long winter, the flag was out.

“All summer long, had the flag out in front of the house, but it was a moment in which I was proud to be an American again, it was an emotional thing for me this morning.”

It has been a tough day today, 9/11 revisited.

ELIZABETH PROTEXTOR - Lost Son in 9/11: “We are resilient despite how we get weighted down.”

Memories of the horrific phone call that would change their lives forever, son Robert killed in the World Trade Center attack. So much has changed in the years that have drifted by. Roberts’ three children are growing up quickly. It pains family knowing they likely remember very little of their dad. Still how can anyone forget him?

“Robert was the family hero. They say every family has a hero and that was Robert.”

JERRY PROTEXTOR - Lost Son in 9/11: “Every single day we think about Robert, his family, and his kids.”

In her first interview since her son's death, Elizabeth tells us the loss is still painful and she clings to and leans on her faith.

“You know that hymn ‘On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand’, that is my favorite hymn. It was before this happened to Robert and it still is.”

“People say, isn't there closure now, and I say closure is a bogus word because there is no closure, we deal with grief but we do not forget.”

The Protextors of course, still visit and have a great relationship with their grandchildren and Robert's wife, who also grew up in Fargo. She has re-married and lives in the Midwest.

Veterans who served in Afghanistan are feeling wide range of emotions with the death of Osama Bin Laden. David McMahon of Fargo was part of operation Anaconda and served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

His mom texted him with the news of Bin Laden's death and says it has really taken some time to set in. He can only imagine what the team that carried out the mission is feeling.

DAVID MCMAHON - Veteran of Afghanistan: “If I was a part of that team, I think there would be a lot of pride to know that you were the members of the team that was chosen to carry out probably the most important mission in today's military service.”

Since leaving active military duty McMahon is working on a Masters in Accounting at NDSU and serves in the North Dakota National Guard.