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Air Force veteran plans 9/11 march from Kingsland to Marble Falls

9/11 memorial walk from Kingsland to Marble Falls

Josh Shirley (front) invites people to take a 13-mile walk on Saturday, Sept. 11, from Kingsland to Marble Falls in honor of those who died and whose lives are forever changed because of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Shirley will follow the same path he walked with David Oxford (second) and Sean McDaniel (back) on Sept. 3. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Kingsland resident and Air Force veteran Josh Shirley plans a second 13-mile trek in a week to honor those lost or affected in national tragedies. He has invited other walkers, bikers, cyclists, and even drivers to join him at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at Buddies, 1621 RR 1431 East in Kingsland. 

“Bring your American flags and yellow ribbons,” Shirley said. 

The group will travel along RR 1431 from Kingsland to the intersection of U.S. 281 in Marble Falls to honor those who lost their lives and whose lives were changed by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. 

“It’s for everyone we lost on 9/11 twenty years ago and for everyone we lost since,” he said. “It will also be to remember all the lives we lose every day overseas.”

On Sept. 3, Shirley, Sean McDaniel, and David Oxford walked the same 13 miles to honor the 13 U.S. service members who died in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 26,  The trio took a short break at Buck’s in Granite Shoals before continuing that march. They arrived at the vacant Pizza Hut in Marble Falls at the highway intersection at about 11 a.m.  

Shirley was 11 years old on Sept. 11, 2001, and remembers being in school when he and his classmates were told “a traumatic event” happened.

At home in Wimberley, he watched footage of the day’s events.

“I cried,” he said. “I asked my parents how it happened. They said it was the terrorists. I vowed to my parents that I would join the military to protect our country.”

He kept his word by joining the Air Force when he turned 19 and serving for two years as an E3.

Now, he wants military members everywhere to know they are still supported.

“If I could make my voice heard, I want them to know we still honor them and respect everything you do every day,” he said. “I put my life on the line to protect this country. The oath we swore never has an expiration date, not until I’m six feet under.”

For other local 9/11 events, click here.

jfierro@thepicayune.com