April 01, 2009

Colorado Legislature Considers Additional Honors For Fallen Navy SEAL Danny Dietz

Memorial statue for Navy SEAL Danny Dietz, the subject of much heated controversy two years ago.

The Colorado Senate (in a joint resolution with the House) will be considering another honor for the fallen hero, Danny Dietz, on Friday--"Navy SEAL Danny Phillip Dietz, Jr., Memorial Highway" (video):
Colorado lawmakers are expected to designate part of Santa Fe Drive after one of the state's most honored military members killed in the war on terror.

Senate Joint Resolution 33, which will be discussed on Friday at the Capitol, would set aside the part of Highway 85, from I-25 to C-470, in memory of Danny Dietz, the Navy SEAL from Littleton who was killed in 2005 in Afghanistan.

"It shows that they have gratitude," said his father, Dan Dietz. "That means a lot. They're recognizing true courage."

Danny Dietz was shot 16 times and kept fighting Taliban soldiers in an effort to establish communications with headquarters. He earned the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and the Navy Cross among other decorations for his actions on June 28, 2005 which was the single worst day of American casualties in the war in Afghanistan.

The legislators sponsoring the resolution are both neighbors of the Dietz family in Littleton and both have military service in their backgrounds. Sen. Mike Kopp (R-Littleton) and Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton) say the memorial is about recognizing Dietz's service to a cause greater than himself and to his parents and family for continuing to share his story, to inspire that service in young Coloradans as well.

"One of my own personal values is to make sure that the generation that sends its sons and daughters to war is the same generation that honors them," Kopp said. "It's important to remind ourselves what heroism and patriotism looks like."

"It's not just to recognize him, but it's the lessons his life teaches us all," Rice said. "This country does need people like Danny Dietz."

Discussion about the highway designation will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday inside the Senate Chambers at the State Capitol before heading over to the House. Dietz's family members are expected to attend. The discussion will be open to the public.
If you live in the area, I encourage you to attend. Pending work arrangements, I will try to be there in person.

Extensive previous coverage of Danny Dietz' story and the controversy over his memorial statue in the SP archives.

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