Media Contact: Fred Strohl
‘Black Hawk Down’ commander still honors fallen soldiers
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 11, 2013 – Danny McKnight’s U.S, Army Rangers’ unit was the focus of the movie “Black Hawk Down” – the story of a battle that occurred in Somalia 20 years ago.
McKnight told an Oak Ridge National Laboratory Veterans Day audience he visits the six graves of men who lost their lives in that battle every five years as he did this past October.
“It reminds me of how special they were and still are to me,” said McKnight, a 28 1/2-year veteran of the Rangers and author of the book “Streets of Mogidishu – Leadership at Its Best” that recounts the battle of Oct. 3-4, 1993. “I want people to know about it because I want people to understand that’s what we need to do. I never want to forget them. I don’t care if they’ve been gone 50 years. As long as I can walk, talk and breathe every five years, they’ll see me. I know they see me.”
Three hundred people recently attended the unit’s first reunion in 20 years in October when they met in Dallas.
“Seeing guys who probably should have died over there, but were running with me in a 5K race meant so much,” McKnight said. “Meeting the families was special. A lot of these guys weren’t married then, but they’re married with kids now. It was special to bring them all together in one place.”
McKnight also reminded his audience Veterans Day honors all veterans–past and present.
“I try to remind everybody that has worn and is wearing the uniform are veterans,” McKnight emphasized. “Let’s not forget about those who are serving because they need our prayers today.”