Man Who Told Bin Laden to Kiss His Rear Recalls His Famous Words

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Nearly 10 years after the twin towers fell, we meet with firefighter Mike Moran, whose words lifted a broken-hearted city days after the terrorist attacks.

    Mike Moran is known for one of the lighter moments of the Sept. 11 aftermath, when during a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, the firefighter took to the stage and bellowed "Osama bin Laden you can kiss my royal Irish ass!"

    Moran, who lost his brother in the attack, was reminded of the moment Sunday night when he got a text message evoking the famous line from nearly 10 years ago.

    "Can't kiss your roral [sic] Irish ass anymore," read the text.

    "Fantastic," he said.

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    The veteran firefighter from Ladder 3 knew the text meant bin Laden was dead.

    Speaking with NBC New York, Moran recalled the moment on Oct. 20, 2001, six weeks after the attacks, when he gave voice to a tenacious spirit brewing in the city.

    "I was told I might get up and speak, I might not," said Moran, sitting in his Rockaway Beach home with his wife, Donna, his sister, and his mom, who recently turned 80. "I was just kind of waiting. And if they ever let me say something, I'm not gonna be nice about it. I wanna show we're not beaten."

    Moran is still a member of the FDNY nearly a decade later. But he thinks daily about his brother John, a battalion chief who died in the disaster.

    There's a memorial to the fallen brother on Moran's street, with part of the boardwalk named for "Chief John Moran."

    So what would his brother have thought of those bold words 10 years ago?

    "I always said that he would have shook his head and been a little embarrassed," Moran said. "Secretly he would have gotten a chuckle from it. He would have said it better."