Commemorative Speech

Topics: Battle of Mogadishu, Black Hawk Down, Randy Shughart Pages: 4 (947 words) Published: May 2, 2012
November 29, 2011John Vukmanic

General purpose: To inspire/motivate
Specific purpose: To commemorate the sacrifice of SFC Randy Shughart and MSG Gary Gordon at the Battle of Mogadishu.

Real American Heroes

October 3, 1993-I was only seven years old when American news reports concerning events in Somalia were displayed on our TV. In truth, Somalia had been in the news for some time, but there had never been any major incidents involving our troops, until today.

I listened intently as the reporter told me of the recent events; Operation Gothic Serpent had begun while I slept, in order to neutralize a powder keg of competing tribal chieftains, who were already in a fierce civil war. The reporter was only giving bits and pieces of information and I soon became disinterested.

Let us fast forward to December 2001; for my 17th birthday, several friends and I went to the movies to see the midnight release of Black Hawk Down. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but knew enough about the story to hope for some footage of the fabled 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, commonly known as Delta Force. This top secret, hyper-elite, black ops unit was the object of great interest among my circle of friends.

Black Hawk Down tells the sad story of a botched military operation in Mogadishu, Somalia. An executive decision was made to cull the hostility in the region by abducting several advisors of the local dictator. In order to accomplish the mission, Delta Force would make the grab, while Army Rangers provided cover. The famed 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) “Night Stalkers” would provide helicopter support.

The mission began poorly. A new Ranger missed the rope when “fast-roping” out of a helicopter, and fell 70 feet, suffering injuries to his head, neck, and back. A casualty before engaging the enemy is never good. Meanwhile the Delta team rounded up their targets quickly...

Bowden, Mark.  Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1999. Print.
Durant, Michael, and Steven Hartov.  In the Company of Heroes, New York: Putnam, 2003. Print.
Eversmann, Matthew, and Dan Schilling. The Battle of Mogadishu: Firsthand Accounts from the Men of Task Force Ranger. New York: Presidio Press, 2004. Print.
Black Hawk Down. Dir. Ridley Scott. Perf. Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, and Ewan McGregor. Columbia Pictures, 2001. Film.
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