“People keep forgetting to never forget,” said Robert J. O’Neill, who shot Osama bin Laden during a May 2011 raid on the al-Qaeda leader’s compound in Pakistan, one of more than 400 raids in which he was involved as a part of Navy SEAL Team 6.

“It is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear what Mr. O’Neill experienced,” said Rumbaugh, himself a hero who lost both legs seeking to rescue a fellow Marine who had stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Winterhalter recalled the heroism of firefighters in the wake of the New York attacks and said his check “will be used for programs covering all of Fayette County.”

Bin Laden was the reputed mastermind of the hijacking of four airliners, two of which crashed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, one crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and one crashed in a field near Shanksville in Somerset County.

O’Neill has a quote from President George W. Bush tattooed on his arm, from the president’s address to the nation on the night of Sept. 11, 2001: “Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.”

O’Neill recalled the story of a single mother who left her child at day care — then one hour later jumped from New York’s burning Twin Towers.

“She’s not supposed to fight, we are,” O’Neill recalled, “and that is why we were going to kill him.”

O’Neill recalled several episodes, including the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips from armed Somali pirates in 2009, as well as the training of each SEAL.