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Firefighters and police respond to Bin Laden death

Fire LieutenantTommy Gogarty was on light duty the day the twin towersfell.

He had just come out of therapy for an injury sustained on the jobwhen he learned there had been an attack on the World TradeCenter.

“I went over on a bus, and tried to do what I could,” recalledGogarty, who was brought up in Sunset Park, and served 20 yearswith the FDNY. “It was a scene I will never forget. Going over thebridge, I saw everyone going the other way. Everything was gray.There was no color. It was unreal.”

Nearly 10 years later, Gogarty was at the benefit for the BrooklynMemorial Day parade that was held at the Salty Dog in Bay Ridge theevening the U.S. Military moved in on Osama Bin Laden.

“Igot a text message from a girl in Wisconsin that Bin Laden had beenkilled, and I put the news on, and there it was,” Gogarty said. “Ireally felt a deep, deep sense of closure, for myself, for myfriends, and for the families of my friends.”

“There’ssatisfaction that there’s closure,” agreed Deputy Inspector EricRodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68thPrecinct.

“We’ve beenwaiting 10 years for the day to happen, and it came, and I was kindof shocked,” Rodriguez went on. “It’s closure in a sense, but thebottom line is your friends are never coming back.”

Monday morning,at the precinct, “Everyone was talking,” Rodriguez recalled. “Youcould see the emotions. There are chills you get that this guy’sfinally taken care of.”

ForSteve Cottone, a firefighter with Engine 242, the news of BinLaden’s death was, “A kind of rallying cry.”

“Everyone onthat day felt like they needed someone to blame and it definitelybrings everybody together, “ said Cottone, who had passed thefirefighter exam and was on the waiting list to be assigned to afirehouse when the terrorist attacks occurred. “It seems like wheneverybody heard the news they flocked to Ground Zero so they couldcelebrate together. It’s almost like it’s being put torest.”

“Itsays a lot for what our country can do,” said Bay Ridge residentDean Rasinya, who was a captain with the NYPD until hisretirement.

BinLaden’s death “is extremely significant in terms of what herepresents,” Rasinya said.

Nonetheless, headded, “The memory is always there. It’s the kind of event thatlasts for a lifetime.”

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