By lex, on April 7th, 2007
Danny Dietz was a second class petty officer and Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan. He earned the Navy Cross, our nation’s second highest military honor – posthumously – for his actions in response to an ambush, laying down covering fire for his team members even as he lay dying from a mortal wound. He fought for his country, died for his friends, came home to a family that laid him to rest.
He grew up in Littleton, Colorado. His family and local congressman raised private funds to place a statue in a park near the neighborhood he grew up in. The city council voted unanimously in favor of the plan. The statue is based on one of the last photographs taken of Petty Officer Dietz in life.
Not everyone is pleased: *
(A) group of parents wants the city to recast the statue or place it elsewhere, arguing that the site, near three elementary schools and two parks, is a hub for young children who could find the weapon disturbing.
“While our hearts go out to the family of this brave young man, we have serious concerns regarding the graphic and violent detail the statue portrays,” stated a flier distributed recently in a nearby neighborhood.
“As a community, we cannot allow the many young children in this area to be exposed to a larger than life-size grenade-launching machine gun,” the flier stated.
Certainly, the image of a warrior carrying the weapons of his trade, weapons he used to defend the rights of pampered poodles who are afraid of guns, can be seen as insensitive.
Perhaps, for those objecting, this would be a better image?
That’s Maria Dietz, Danny’s widow. With Danny, after he came home. She doesn’t quite understand her neighbors’ objections:
(She) called the references to Columbine “offensive.”
“Danny used his gun to protect innocent lives and fight for this country,” said Mrs. Dietz, who lives in Virginia Beach. “For them to compare that to Columbine is offensive not only to my husband, but to every other citizen who died behind enemy lines.”
She said she hoped that children who pass the memorial would be inspired by his example.
“He’s a role model for any kid in that area, someone who grew up and became a hero with his combat gear, which included his gun,” Mrs. Dietz said.
I’m not quite sure I understand their objections either: These are soft people who for their freedoms depend upon hard men willing to use rifles to defend them. They’d rather not acknowledge any of the facts in that sentence. Instead they choose to believe that their privileges are birthrights, or if not, demand that the soldiers who protect them at least have the good grace to die anonymously.
*Washington Times April 6, 2007 “Community at odds over fallen hero’s statue”–Ed