Glen A. Doherty, a 42-year-old former Navy SEAL from Massachusetts, was one of four Americans, including the American Ambassador, killed in an attack on the American consulate in Libya last week.
The raid in Benghazi coincided with the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York.
Doherty, who had co-authored a book about SEAL skills, was working as a security guard at the time of the attack. “He was on security detail and he was protecting the ambassador and also helping the wounded” when he was killed, his sister Kate Quigley told media.
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid glowing tribute to the victims of the Libyan attack when their remains arrived back in America at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, last Friday.
“Their sacrifice will never be forgotten,” Obama said as he stood next to the four flag-draped coffins, while Clinton fought back tears.
Huge crowds attended Glen Doherty’s wake and his funeral on Wednesday in his native Winchester, a suburb of Boston. Flags also lined the street in Woburn, a neighbouring town, where his family now live.
His grandfather was Anthony Doherty, a native of Clonmany, while his grandmother Margaret was from Malin.
The family are extremely well known in the Donegal Irish community of greater Boston, as they had a chicken farm in Billerica and would have made daily deliveries to Irish families living in the suburbs.
Glen’s father Ben is also extremely popular, as he is a former champion boxer who also served as Massachusetts Boxing Commissioner, and is a well-respected stockbroker.
His mother Barbara is also widely known, as she ran a sweet shop, The Candy Castle, in Lexington.
Glen’s family issued a statement following his death in which they described him as “very loyal to his friends and family”.
His sister Kate said he was: “One of the nicest, big-hearted people. One of the things that was so great about him is that he was always present.
“When you were in the room with him, you would be the most important person in the world. He was always present.”
The family statement also noted that “his fearlessness took many forms throughout his life, but was always at his core.”
Glen was an avid skier and triathlete, and had worked as a white water rafting guide on the Colorado river in Utah.
After attending aeronautical university, “a desire to push himself and to use his talents to make genuine change in the world led him to join the Navy SEALS” at the age of 30.
His tours of duty included Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
“He was full of hilarious and adventuresome stories”, the family concluded, “and the glue that held many social scenes together”.