Highway signs unveiled in honor of Dietz

Posted 8/27/09

After months of legislation, a portion of Santa Fe Drive has officially been designated “Navy SEAL Danny Dietz Memorial Highway,” in honor of …

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Highway signs unveiled in honor of Dietz

Posted

After months of legislation, a portion of Santa Fe Drive has officially been designated “Navy SEAL Danny Dietz Memorial Highway,” in honor of Petty Officer Danny Dietz of Littleton, who lost his life serving in Afghanistan.

Two signs, one located over the South Platte River just south of Interstate 25 and the other near Santa Fe and C-470, will serve to remind the people that the price of freedom is not free, said state Sen. Mike Kopp, a sponsor of the resolution to honor Dietz.

“It is incumbent upon each generation that sends its sons and daughters to war to recognize their sacrifice,” Kopp said at the dedication ceremony at Vanderbilt Park Aug. 18.

“This is a living, breathing monument that will help ensure that we don’t forget.”

Dan and Cindy Dietz have been actively involved in recognizing their son since his death in 2005. In 2007, they were instrumental in getting a bronze statue erected in his image at Berry Park.

Veterans of Foreign Affairs Post 4666 and Post 5061 helped raise funds for the signs which equaled $3,000.

“It’s important that you know that he didn’t have to die to be a hero,” said Rear Admiral Edward G. Winters, III, commander of Naval Special Warfare.

Dietz, who grew up in Littleton, launched his dreams of being in the military in the city and has now come to rest in the same place, said his widow, Patsy Dietz, at the ceremony.

“He can now watch over us and this road,” she said. “When you pass by remember that he represented all Americans and he believed in all of you.”

After an emotional pause she added, “And now I’m able to share him with you.”

“The legacy of Officer Dietz is a legacy of service,” said state Rep. Joe Rice, who is currently serving his fourth tour in Iraq. “His surviving family continues to provide support to other families who have lost loves ones, and as Danny did they serve as a model to all of us.”

Dietz lost his life on June 28, 2005 while his SEAL team was under attack in Afghanistan. Dietz was the SEAL’s communications specialist who risked his life to save three teammates. Only one member of the SEAL team survived. The day is known for the worst loss of life in SEAL history and the single worst day of American fatalities in the war.

Dietz was born in Aurora in 1980 and grew up in Littleton. He graduated from Heritage High School in 1999. He is survived by his wife, Patsy Dietz, his parents Cindy and Danny Dietz, Sr., his sister Tiffany Bitz and his brother Eric Dietz.

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