Firefighter James Doodle was at Rescue 2 headquarters in Brooklyn when he learned that justice had finally caught the most wanted fugitive in the murder of his father and 342 other members of the FDNY along with 2,977 others on 9/11. .
He said: “Praise be to God for the military.” “They’re still doing it.”
The news of Ayman al-Zawahiri’s death came as the two younger sons of FDNY Lieutenant Kevin Doddell began to feel that those not directly affected by the attack had forgotten him.
“It seems like a distant memory nowadays,” James Doodle said. “For us it’s not like that, but for the rest of the world it looks like it might be.”
His older brother, Patrick Doodle, was in the Army, attending West Point and then deploying to serve in our longest war. He now works in sales and cybersecurity. He was at home with his small family when a friend called him to make sure he had heard about al-Zawahiri.
“We always say, ‘Never forget,'” Patrick said. ‘The government as a whole, it’s good to see that they don’t. They’re still chasing bad guys.”
The news did not carry the drama of bin Laden’s death in 2011, which prompted the Doodle brothers to descend to Ground Zero and join the crowd chanting “USA! USA! USA!” Al-Zawahiri was the lesser known deputy, and his death more than a decade later did not lead to spontaneous celebrations.
But a year after the disastrous evacuation from Afghanistan in which a suicide bomber killed 13 American soldiers, Patrick Doddell stated not to lose faith in his country’s ultimate determination.
“We are not giving up,” he said. “We don’t just go, we don’t go away.”
The son of the same name of Fire Marshal Ron Boca was drafted into the army in response to his father’s murder, and he was repeatedly posted as the Green Beret. Ron Boca the Younger was training with his Special Forces unit on Monday when he received a phone call regarding the killing of al-Zawahiri in Kabul by a drone strike, which apparently killed no one but the intended target.
“He was the last one left there from the old order,” Mr. Sgt. Boca said.
Bucca had joined in the hope of acquiring bin Laden, but he was with his team in Iraq when the US Navy stopped him. Others remained after al-Zawahiri year after year, demonstrating an increasingly rare trait these days.
“A little persistence,” Boca said. “If it isn’t, I don’t know what is.”
The public struggle lasted much longer than he had imagined when he recorded what seemed like a very long time ago.
“Twenty years of war,” he said.
But since he’s now starting to consider retirement, there’s evidence that we can still be what we should be.
“This definitely made my day,” Boca said.