Remembering Danny Dietz

Posted by lex On July 5th, 2007

Rifle and all: **

LITTLETON, Colo. (July 4, 2007) – Family, friends and Littleton city officials view the larger-than-life bronze statue of Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny P. Dietz, who was honored by his hometown of Littleton, by dedicating the statue and park near his childhood family home. An estimated 3,000 people crowded the new park to honor the Sailor’s memory. Gunners Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Danny Dietz was killed in action while conducting counter-terrorism operations in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. Coalition forces located the Sailor and notified the family six days later on July 4. The Memorial dedication marks the second anniversary of this event. U.S. Navy photo by Boatswains Mate 1st Class Chet Mowrey

I had a post on this story up several months ago. A story that should have been about a brave petty officer who valiantly gave his life in support of his friends and in his country’s noble cause, but that instead turned on the issue of whether a statue of a Navy SEAL with a rifle in a city park where children might see would be somehow “inappropriate.” The local police department was sufficiently concerned that the statue might be vandalized before it was unveiled that they enlisted the assistance ** of the Colorado chapter of Rolling Thunder to help them maintain a vigil.

Richmond was our family home, a place where the statues of fallen soldiers are by no means unfamiliar sights. As a young boy I was told that the statues of J.E.B. Stuart and Stonewall Jackson faced north because they had died in battle, that Stuart wore his hat atop his head having been killed by Union troops, while Jackson was uncovered, having been accidentally shot by his own pickets returning to camp.  I learned that the statue of Robert E. Lee faced south, hat in hand, having returned from battle to his home at last. They wore spurs, carried pistols and swords. I learned that these things had meaning, and as a young man I looked searchingly into the those mute granite faces, trying to understand.

So Danny gets to wear his hat, and carry his rifle and while I find it hard to believe that schoolchildren will be frightened by the bronze statue of a fallen warrior, I do not doubt that one at least will stop to wonder who this man was, and why he fought and how he fell.

Perhaps that child too will learn that these things have meaning.

** 10-14-20 Link gone; no replacement available – Ed.

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, GWOT, Heroes Among Us, In Memoriam, SEALs, Uncategorized

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