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SealCity of Beaumont, CA
550 East 6th Street
Beaumont, CA 92223
Spc. Michael Dahl, Jr. Memorial Services

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Spc. Michael Dahl, Jr
K.I.A.
Afghanistan
October 17, 2009

 


Remembering a hometown soldier

The name of native son Michael Dahl, Jr. will forever be etched on the veteran's memorial wall in the town where he grew up before making the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

On Memorial Day 2010, the U.S. Army Specialist will be honored when his name becomes the 204th inscribed on the Beaumont Veterans Memorial—a living tribute to local members of the Armed Forces who have defended our country’s freedom.

 

Spc. Dahl died October 17th when enemy forces in Afghanistan attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device while he was on patrol during Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

“The Memorial is a place of quiet reflection, where all of us in very private moments can express our gratitude for those who served, but never came home,” said Mayor Jeff Fox. With row after row of names on three granite slabs, the monument honors those who served their country, properly recognizing their greatness as President Abraham Lincoln once did during the Civil War by heralding those who gave “the last full measure of devotion.”

 

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the Pass in mourning the loss of one of California’s brave soldiers. “Specialist Michael Dahl Jr. was a proud and courageous soldier who selflessly worked to defend our nation. Maria and I join all Californians in remembering Michael’s service and honoring his sacrifice. Our hearts are with his family and friends.”

 

City mourns

 

Spc. Dahl died in Argahndab, Afghanistan after previously serving in Iraq. His father, mother and younger brother traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware and witnessed the ceremonial transfer of their loved one’s body from the battlefield to his home country. Family and friends described Spc. Dahl as a patriot who died fighting willingly for a cause that he believed in.

 

The city of Beaumont already has honored Spc. Dahl during an outpouring of community support. Many attended a candlelight vigil at the Civic Center, where flags were lowered to half-staff. Heads also bowed in a moment of silence and reflection before a recent City Council meeting dedicated to the soldier. Mayor Fox, council members and staff also joined the community in bidding farewell and paying homage to the decorated soldier during visitation at Weaver Mortuary and a funeral with full military honors at the Riverside National Cemetery. Beaumont Police closed off several local streets as the funeral procession made its way through town to the national cemetery in Riverside. Beaumont hosted a reception for about 100 family and friends at the Civic Center after Spc. Dahl was laid to rest on Oct. 27.

 

Small town remembers

 

Many felt the loss deeply as the news of the soldier’s death hit  the small town, where many still know their neighbors going back four or five generations. Councilman Brian DeForge joined the town in mourning.

 

“I knew his grandfather, Larry `Buddy’ Dahl when he coached Beaumont Little League,” DeForge said. “Michael was one of our kids, and in Beaumont, we honor our own and give them the respect they deserve for making the `ultimate sacrifice.’”

 

Councilwoman Nancy Gall paid her respects at the military funeral, where an overflow crowd gathered under a covering, and many more stood silently on a nearby hill.  The military honor guard solemnly escorted the casket to the gravesite and folded the American flag end-over-end with trained precision presenting the stars and stripes to the family. Gall heard the mournful sound of bagpipes, a gun volley salute that split the air, with its echoes slowly fading in the distance. And then the traditional “Taps” was played.

 

“It was very moving, and I join all of Beaumont in keeping the Dahl family in our thoughts and prayers,” Gall said.

 

Paying tribute

 

Spc. Dahl was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, in Fort Lewis, Washington. The brigade deployed to Afghanistan in July.

 

His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal-CS, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal—Mobilized, and the Combat Action Badge.

 

Tributes poured in from family and friends, who remembered Spc. Michael Dahl Jr. as a kind, soft-spoken man of faith who set and accomplished goals while always making time for his family.

For more information on the Beaumont Veteran's Memorial, please click on the following link:

 www.ci.beaumont.ca.us/veteransmemorial