I have been out of town for the past several days, and, as it happens, I was with my writing partner, “Holmes,” in Arizona last night when the news went public that Bin Laden is dead. We broke open a bottle of champagne and toasted. Not in merriment or triumph, but in solemn gratitude to everyone who brought this success for all Americans to fruition. The following is Holmes’ comment on this important landmark in our fight against terrorism. . . .
Tonight, I feel a sense of relief at the death of the bestial mass murderer, extortionist, rapist, and common thief, Osama Bin Laden. His death does not signify an end to the war against terror, but it is a significant achievement. I feel a deep sense of gratitude at having been afforded the privilege to serve with the many great Americans and Allies, and the many sympathetic and helpful people throughout the world who have chosen to stand on the side of decency. I remain thankful to every one of them for their commitment and sacrifices.
Tonight, I feel a need to reflect on the loss of thousands of Americans from the 9/11 attacks, and the other attacks perpetrated by Bin Laden’s sick worshipers. I hope that tonight’s news can bring some measure of closure to the thousands of loved ones who suffered losses on that terrible day.
Tonight, in particular, I find myself thinking of New York City Fire Marshal and part-time member of the United States Army Special Forces, Ronnie Bucca. Ronnie had served as a member of the renowned New York City Fire Department “Rescue 1” and had been involved in daring rescue operations that seem too far-fetched for Hollywood movies. After suffering a broken spine in one such rescue in Manhattan, Ronnie defied medical science and was able to return to duty and became a Fire Marshall for New York City.
Ronnie was one of the individuals who struggled mightily against a second attack on the Twin Towers. (Remember that the 9/11 attacks were the second attack on the Twin Towers, the first being a truck bombing in 1993.) Ronnie’s experience with the first Twin Towers bombing, as well as his experience as a United States Army Intelligence Specialist, a Fire Marshal, and a member of Rescue 1, gave him a unique perspective on terrorist threats, and Ronnie was convinced that another attack on the Twin Towers was highly likely.
Ronnie reached out to a variety of people concerning his well-founded fears. Had more people listened to him, the attack might have been thwarted. On 9/11, Ronnie was on duty as a Fire Marshal. When he heard the news, he and his partner went to the World Trade Center and entered the complex to help in the evacuation and firefighting efforts. Ronnie and his fellow fire fighters must have known that they had little chance of surviving that fire, but it didn’t stop them from trying to save as many lives as possible.
The last conversation I had with Ronnie Bucca was about his concern for a possible attack on the Twin Towers. I send my renewed condolences and my respect to his wife, Eve, and to their two children, Jessica and Ronald. We have not forgotten Ronnie.
To all those who have lost loved ones in the fight against terrorism, they, too, are remembered.