• Craig Candage

MEETING THE MAN WHO KILLED BIN LADEN

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

I know this is a Nashville Real Estate Blog but sometimes Real Estate needs to take a backseat.


September 11, 2001 is a day that all Americans will remember the rest of our lives. It was the day America was blindly attacked on its home soil. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day, most likely so do you. I was at my parents house having still lived at home at the time. I was getting ready for a college class when my Mother called for me to see what she was watching on the Breaking News. As we both watched, stunned and confused as to why a plane has flown into one of the World Trade Center Towers, shocked another flies into the twin tower of the first. At that point we knew the first was not an accident but that something we could not fathom was going on. As we watched further trying to grasp any reasoning for what had just happened and why the buildings started to fall.


We all know what happened in the hours to follow. George W. Bush came on TV and told us it was a terrorist attack on our home soil. He was Presidential, he was clear and concise in his explanation he handled it like a man who had done it before even though he thankfully had not. Weeks later we heard nothing but death tolls, watched nothing but reruns of poor souls jumping or burning to theirs deaths. Months later we were more united as a country than I had yet to see in my 21 years on the planet.


All I heard on the news for years to follow was the name Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda,. Where was he? Who was he? Why did he and his goons do this to us?


"We Will Never Forget". Well as time went on we did forget. The country went back to normal but the name Osama Bin Laden was still etched in out memories as he still had not been served justice for the thousands of Americans he brutally murdered that day.


While we had continued living our lives the US Military had made it their duty to find this man and served him what he was due for those brutal attacks.


On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden was served justice by the United States Navy Seals. They raided his home in Pakistan and he was killed for what he had done. America had finally gotten justice for his hateful act. It came out some time after that a Navy Seal named Robert J. O'neill, clearly a man with nerves of steel and blood that ran the colors of our flag had been the man who pulled the trigger on this incredibly important and dangerous mission. The United States finally could be at peace with 9/11. We rejoiced and celebrated. Don't mess with the United States we will get you I remember thinking at the time.


Now the country is divided and we only remember the attacks on the day of the anniversary. To remember how united America was shortly after the attack was remember ing a great time in US history.


Fast forward to November 2020. My beautiful and talented wife Jessica

and I moved from Maine to Nashville, and had been here only a few months. We were fortunate to meet some incredible people early into us living in Nashville, and on a warm November evening we were invited over to their home for a fire and a few drinks. I was on the back deck enjoying an ice cold Coors Light engaged in conversation with other guests of the host when I was introduced to a woman I had never met but recognized from Instagram. She introduced her self to me " Hi I'm Jessica O'neill". I introduced myself told her it was nice to meet her and scurried over to the host like a fan girl to ask him if Rob was there and if he cared if I got a photo with him. The host razzed me a bit but said " of course he will" I mean this guy killed the man who put fear into the eyes of the people of the United States. He is an American Badass. Rob comes out and the host blew up my spot while introducing Rob to me. I then shook the hand of the man who killed Osama Bin Laden.


The night goes on and I have many conversations with Rob finally asking him for a photo. He graciously accepted and not too long after our host announced that Rob was going to tell the story of the night Bin Laden was killed. I was like a child going to Fenway Park for the first time, eyes and ears open in awe of who was in front of me telling me what the US Navy Seals and he personally had accomplished. It was one of the best nights of my life as a Patriotic American who's father had fought and been injured in the Vietnam war and diligently watched on TV the destruction Osama Bin Laden had done. I'm very grateful for our invite and that night as a whole.


Sometimes you meet people and you are disappointed at who they are opposed to who you think they are before you meet them. Not this time. Robert J. O'neill is an American hero. He was ready to die that May evening in Pakistan for the security of you and I. I'm proud to call him my friend.


Rob deservedly is now out of the Military and graciously travels the country talking about what he did the night of May 2, 2011 to finally close the book on Osama Bin Laden and the terror caused by this terrorist. On his website www.RobertJOneill.com you can check out what he is doing now and support him by purchasing gear off his site or just dropping him a message with a thank you.

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