Encinitas neighbors honored the life of a former Navy SEAL killed in last month's attack in Libya Friday evening.
Glen Doherty, 42, served as a Navy SEAL and was working a security detail when he was killed in the deadly attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
Friday’s celebration of life for Doherty brought together neighbors who said his death has hit them hard. One neighbor told NBC 7 she was trying to explain his death to her young son, and she compared him to Captain America.
Indeed, Doherty is seen as an American Hero. His life is being celebrated with a series of events this weekend, starting off with a good old fashioned block party in the 100 block of Rodney Avenue. The street was closed off for the event.
Doherty, a native of Winchester, Mass., worked as a Kokoro Camp Trainer at a company called SEALFIT in Encinitas. The gym offers classes modeled after the famous Navy SEAL Hell Week.
His brother, Greg, told NBC 7 in a previous article that Doherty kept the same core group of friends since elementary school and was "a master of both [smack] talk and encouragement."
Doherty had worked for years as a security and intelligence specialist for U.S. government agencies in high threat regions, including Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Neighbors, friends and family came together Friday evening to share their stories and memories over food and live music. They’re also getting the word out on a new non-profit foundation called the Glen Doherty Foundation – a way to pay it forward and make a meaningful difference in someone’s life, according to his former roommate, Sean Lake.
The neighborhood block party was loud and fun, just how Doherty would have wanted it, according to his sister Kate Quigley, who flew in from Boston to celebrate her brother’s life.
“We're here to tell stories and laugh and remember and honor an amazing person,” said Quigley.
Doherty’s brother, Greg, was also in attendance at the party Friday night and said a somber vigil was never an option for his brother.
“He made it pretty clear, if he ever died and had any money to spend, we should spend it having a big party with good friends,” Greg told NBC 7.
And party they did.
The celebration of Doherty’s life included music, food, drinks and fun for kids.
“The only thing missing is Glen,” said friend Dan Miller.
Friends and family remembered Doherty as a hero, both in the military and in their personal lives.
“You needed a friend, Glen was there. You could rely on him endlessly. That's a rare breed. He was one of those rare breeds,” said friend Maureen Rogers.
“He died saving people, defending people from an attack, running in to help out. He lived as big as he could,” added Doherty’s brother.
In addition to Friday night's celebration, there's a “Paddle Out” planned Saturday at Swami's in Encinitas at 10 a.m.