'Black Hawk Down' survivor to speak

Retired U.S. Army Col. Danny McKnight of 'Black Hawk Down' fame will speak this afternoon at Eastwood Christian School in Salem, Ala.

On Oct, 3, 1993 a U.S. Army Ranger strike force conducted a mission on the streets of Mogadishu in Somalia that was supposed to last only an hour. The battle raged for 15 hours after two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and Somali militia swarmed the Rangers and the Delta Force they were aiding in the capture of two lieutenants serving warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid.

Nineteen Americans and an estimated 1,000 Somalis were killed in the fray.

McKnight was a convoy commander during the Mogadishu mission. His heroism was depicted in a book by Mark Bowden and later in a popular 2001 movie.

He will speak at the chartering of Eastwood Christian School cadets in the Alabama Defense Force Cadet Corps. The State Defense Force is an unpaid, voluntary militia that takes the place of the National Guard when they are called to active duty.

Eastwood Christian School is at 2176 Lee Road 183, two miles off of U.S. 280. For more information about the event, call 334-749-1859.