BRANDON, Fla. - Brian Muldowney was at the fire station when he heard the news that Osama bin Laden was dead.
"I was like WOW! man, this is what we've been waiting for for nine and a half years," said Muldowney, a Hillsborough County Fire Rescue firefighter.
It's been a tough nine and a half years for Brian. His older brother Rich, a New York City firefighter, was killed during the 9/11 attack.
"The first thing I thought about was my brother. I was like, you know, 'Rich, they got him.' In my eyes, that man is responsible for murdering my brother," recalled Muldowndey.
Brian had a flood of emotions in the moments after hearing the news.
"It took a while for it to settle in. I got chills and goosebumps. i just didn't know what to feel," explained Brian.
Much like the weathered reminder on the window of his truck that recalls the attacks, Brian's remembrance of that awful day is always with him.
"Wounds never close, you know. I mean, I've been living this life for almost ten years now," said Muldowney.
Rich was the oldest of six kids, Brian the youngest. Yet Brian is confident how his brother would feel about the news.
"I think my brother would be smiling that between the C.I.A., the Special Forces and the Military, they never gave up. They never gave up, they went after him until the job was done," said Muldowney.
For Brian, it's not just that Bin Laden was killed, but the manner in which he died.
"It's comforting to know that he took his last breath at the hands of the U.S. Special Forces. That makes me feel good. They didn't blow him up with a rocket, they went in there and went face to face with him and took him out," Muldowney said.
There will always be a scar on the heart of Brian Muldowney. But the death of Osama bin Laden brings him a small measure of healing.
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