Monday, September 11, 2006

Cmdr. Dan Frederic Shanower

Commander Dan F. Shanower
Age: 40
Home: Vienna, Virginia

Navy Commander Dan F. Shanower had been posted around the world in his 15 years as a naval officer, but he was happy with his transfer to the staff of the Navy Command Center just more than a year before September 11, 2001, said his brother Jonathan Shanower, a lawyer in Naperville, Illinois.

"He loved being in Washington," Shanower said. "He had spent some time there as a student at American University in the 1980s, and he loved politics."

Dan Shanower, 40, was a lanky man with an easy smile who liked to spend his weekends hanging out at a Xando coffeehouse, his neighbors in Vienna said. On hot days, he was often seen behind his condominium complex washing his Lexus.

Jonathan Shanower said his brother was a very private person and revealed little about his personal life or much about his work, which had taken him to Japan, the Philippines and, for several tours, the aircraft carrier USS Midway.

"We didn't talk business," Shanower said. "Family was important."

Shanower grew up in Naperville, one of five siblings and the son of a schoolteacher, Patricia, and a retired college professor, Donald.

He went to Naperville Central High School, where he graduated in 1979, and then on to a private liberal arts institution, Carroll College in Wisconsin, where he graduated with a communications degree in 1983.

He applied and was accepted into naval officer training in Pensacola, Florida, shortly thereafter, his brother said. Shanower lived quietly in a town house community and was studying to receive his master's degree at Georgetown University, his brother said.

On Monday, October 1, 2001, Navy Commander Dan Shanower of Naperville, Illinois, was buried amid all the solemnity America can bestow upon a fallen son.

A Naval intelligence officer, Shanower's grave site overlooks the Pentagon, where the destruction caused by the September 11, 2001, terrorist assault was clearly visible to mourners.

The day began with a Christian service at the Fort Meyer Old Post Chapel. Friends and co-workers eulogized Shanower as a patriot, an officer, a writer, a traveler, a gentleman.

"He covered it all," one Naval commander said. "And he was a gift to us all."

Shanower was assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence in June 1999. The Naperville Central High School graduate joined the Navy in 1985, later earning the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Navy Commendation medals and the Navy Service Medal.

He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal.

For a moving first-hand account of the terror of that day, read Sarah Bunting's website and help her Find Don.


Southern Girl said...

Wonderful tribute, Sadie. Thank you.

Mine is up, too.

Raggedy said...

Wonderful Tribute!
Thank you.
These are sad and hard to read....
I am honored to be a part of this project.
Mine is posted also...
The 2996 link is down. I have a new link on my site to view the participants.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort,
but where he stands at times of challenge
and controversy. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bless you...

Anonymous said...

Wonderful tribute!

Jean (Lois)

Jim Hofmann said...

I was a shipmate of Dan while he was at Third Fleet in San Diego. Funniest guy in the Officer's Mess -- his stories always caused people to be late getting back to duty and his imitations of others on the ships or people we encountered were always deadly, spot-on and hilarious. Even though, he was loyal at his core to his friends, brimming of good ideas and intensely dedicated to the Service and his future in it.

I have visited his grave and the others from the Pentagon. It sits far back in Arlington Cemetary overlooking the Pentagon where they died and is perhaps one of the quietest places in the Metro area. I'd recommend to everyone to visit and contemplate this tragic day when we lost such good men and women as Dan.

SingWithMe123 said...

You did a beautiful job with this. Thank you.

Jen said...

Wow, he sounds like a truly upstanding man. Thank you for telling his story.

I Remember Anna Williams Allison

David said...

Bless you for your work, keeping the memory of this good man alive.
2996 , we will never forget, and never relent. Good wins, when people do what is right!

Windypundit said...

I was at the Naperville Riverwalk a while ago taking some pictures when I discovered the Dan F. Shanower memorial. I wrote about it here, with pictures.

Biker Betty said...

A wonderful tribute on Cmdr Dan Shanower. Thank you for taking the time to do this tribute on a 9/11 Hero.

The 2,996 Tribute projects is such a great idea to remember those who lost their lives, that they won’t be forgotten. That was a horrible day and tragic event. I did a tribute to Chief Battalion William J. McGovern, firefighter.

If anyone needs it, I have an alternate link as the 2,996 original link is down at the moment.