Afghanistan war veteran reflects on 20th anniversary of 9/11 attack
LAWRENCE, Kan. —
Growing up on Staten Island, Danny Sjursen felt destined to be a man in uniform.
“Growing up in a fireman and cop family, it was it’s a paramilitary environment and so nothing was a more manly and special thing to do than join the military, but it was peacetime,” said Sjursen.
Until September 11th, 2001. He was a Freshman at West Point, in class when the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
“Two thoughts, right. Number one is, is my family, are they dead? Because we watched the towers come down. And then, I’m going to war.”
Among the fallen, a family friend he called Uncle Marty, New York Firefighter Martin Egan Jr.
“Really brave guy,” said Sjursen. “All the calls come on the radios and a truck was coming by from another house. He didn’t even have his own bunker gear, his own equipment. He just jumped on the truck and grabbed like an extra set and rode to his death.”
His community mourned and in time he said the streets in his family’s neighborhood were renamed for firefighters who gave their lives.
“I didn’t really know anybody who didn’t know somebody who was killed on 9/11. So, it was pretty profound and then I felt like an obligation.”
Sjursen was deployed to Iraq in 2006 and then Afghanistan in 2011. On the tenth anniversary of the attack, he paid tribute to one of the fire crews killed in New York.
“They sent me this flag, which had flown over the 105 truck in Brooklyn. And then on September 11 2011, I flew it over Kandahar.”
Sjursen lost more friends to the war and the battles they faced when they returned.
On the twentieth anniversary of the attack, the loss is heavy.
Afghan War veteran reflects on 9/11: Read the full article here.