Sunday, April 08, 2007


City officials said today a statue honoring slain Navy SEAL Danny Dietz will be erected July 4 despite opposition from a Littleton group claiming it glorified violence because he is depicted holding an automatic rifle. The parents of Dietz offered a brief statement at the city's community room and expressed surprise that there would be anyone who would oppose a statue honoring their son. "The last few days have been pretty difficult for our family, but not nearly as difficult as losing our son," Cindy Dietz said. "We understand that a small number of people don't want us to erect this sculpture. Ironically, D.J. died defending their right to disagree." As they finished, a group of police officers watching applauded for the couple.

State Sen. Steve Ward was incensed about the controversy as he watched the couple's speech. "This is pathetic," he said. "What's next? Take the bombs bursting in air out of the Star Spangled Banner?" Danny Dietz, 25, was killed June 28, 2005 in Afghanistan after his four-man reconnaissance were searching for al-Qaida fighters. Within hours, a Special Forces helicopter was shot down, killing eight other SEALS and eight soldiers. Only one member of Dietz's four-member team was rescued.

Kelli Narde, spokeswoman for the City of Littleton, said she was also surprised by the opposition to the sculpture and felt awkward about approaching the Dietz family about a possible public flare up. She also said she tried to set up a private meeting between the Dietz family and those raising objections.

Among those opposing the statue were Emily Fuchs, who is a member of the city's Fine Arts Committee and Linda Cuesta, whose child was at Columbine High School when two teenagers shot and killed 12 students and a teacher in 1999.

Cuesta told the city council last month it would be a mistake to put the statue in a place where kids would pass it every day. But Cindy Dietz said she didn't understand that logic. "This has nothing to do with Columbine," she said. Narde said the city has already lined up an admiral in the U.S. Navy to be at the dedication on July 4 and that much of the work at the foundry has been completed on the statue. Cindy Dietz herself has been to look at the castings at least six times to make sure the it is in the likeness of her son

Source. And Michelle Malkin has more.

Oregon: Juvenile Shot During Break-In: "A 16-year-old Jefferson boy is recovering from a gunshot wound after he was found in another man's home. Just before 3:30 a.m., deputies were called to a home on High Street on reports of a robbery and shots fired. Michael Vogler, 59, told the police that he had confronted a male in his house with a gun. At some point the male suspect assaulted Vogler and tried to get the gun away from him. During that struggle, one shot was fired. The juvenile ran into the garage of the home, dove head-first through a window and ran from the area on foot. Vogler had minor injuries to his head and neck as a result of the assault. At about 6 a.m., Albany Hospital staff contacted the sheriff's office to report that the juvenile had come to the emergency room with a single gunshot wound to the abdomen and a cut on his elbow. The juvenile was treated and released to his parents to recover from his injuries. The investigation is continuing and criminal charges for the juvenile will be forthcoming. The extent of those charges has yet to be determined."

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