DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Sunday's announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed brings years of disappointment to an end for Delray Beach Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Russell Accardi.
"It was a relief that he was finally brought to justice," said Accardi.
Fire helmets and pictures commemorating 9/11 fill the Delray Beach Fire Rescue Station. It's easy to see how much Accardi and the men and women who work here care about the first responders and civilians who lost their lives on 9/11.
"That day was certainly one of the most significant of my career," said Accardi.
Trained in urban search and rescue, Accardi was called to help in New York City while the events of September 11th were still unfolding. Only this time he wouldn't be looking for just civilians.
"This time it was some of my friends who were specially and highly trained to find and remove people from building collapses so it was a very different situation."
Accardi lost three close friends that day; however, he said not helping was never an option.
"I was fortunate to be able to be sent and contribute,” he said, “to try to help some of those people I knew."
For first responders like Accardi, news of bin Laden's death may now bring some much needed closure. He only hopes it will do the same for the families of the many victims of 9/11.
"I certainly felt that until he was found and brought to justice that those people and those families had to endure what they did,” he said. “A lot of kids grew up without their fathers because of that one individual and what he did to this country. So to hear that on the news was just something the really meant a lot. Knowing the families would have the satisfaction of knowing the one who took their loved ones was finally brought to justice and we did it. The United States found him and he paid the price of doing what he did here."
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