April 03, 2009

Fallen Navy SEAL Honored In Denver: Danny Dietz Memorial Highway

Honoring the fallen:
The next time you drive on Sante Fe Drive, just south of Denver, you will be heading down a new road; it is actually a familiar road just with a new name.

On Friday morning, Colorado lawmakers approved a measure to rename a ten mile stretch of Sante Fe, "Navy Seal Danny Phillip Dietz, Jr. Memorial Highway." The highway stretches from Interstate 25 south to C-470.

Dietz is a Navy Seal soldier from Littleton, was working on a recognisance mission in Afghanistan, in 2005, when Taliban troops surrounded his small group of four navy seals. Dietz was shot 16 times and continued fighting in order to save his brothers. Dietz died on the single worst day of American fatalities in the war in Afghanistan.

Dietz's family was also at the capitol Friday morning. They say the highway is not only about Danny, but every American soldier.

Tiffany Bitz is Dietz's sister. She said it is amazing to see the amount of support her brother has received.

"It really just, I think it helps to know that he's appreciated and remembered. That's the greatest thing that he's remembered and people are never forgetting the sacrifice that he made," Bitz said.
SP has been tracking the story of Danny Dietz from the controversy that erupted in April 2007 over a memorial statue placed near his childhood home in Littleton to this most recent honor.

Danny Dietz has been a source of inspiration--in an era where heroes are routinely ignored or forgotten, Danny and his fellow SEALs stood as heroes, and have not been forgotten because we have not allowed that to happen. Fellow Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell chronicled the actions of the SEAL team comprised of Michael P. Murphy, Luttrell, Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson in the book Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, an excellent and harrowing account.

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