Many people view Memorial Day, as just a day that they don’t get mail, banks are closed, a day off of work, or a day to get together with family and friends to cook out.
That is all true, but we as Americans wouldn’t be able to enjoy those things if it wasn’t for the members of our armed services that fought for our freedom, while giving the ultimate sacrifice – their lives.
Men, and women from all walks of life have made that sacrifice, including many sports figures. The one that comes to mind of recent memory is Pat Tillman. his death in the line of duty even though it occurred a little over 9 years ago (2004) still resonates in the back of my mind not only today but everyday. Here was a young successful man, who had his whole had his whole life ahead of him, could’ve taken the easy route continuing to play in the NFL, but instead, chose to stand up and defend what he believed in…FREEDOM!
Pat Tillman was standout linebacker for the Arizona State Sun Devils during his collegiate career. His junior year, he helped his team go undefeated which got them to the Rose Bowl. That same season he was voted the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Tillman also graduated in 3 1/2 years from ASU, majoring in Marketing, carrying a 3.85 GPA. He was picked #226 in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals and played four seasons as saftey for them. During his breif career Tillman had a oppurtunity to leave his beloved Cardinals for a five-year, $9 million contract with the St. Louis Rams, but because of his of his loyalty to the Cardinals he stayed in Arizona.
After the Attacks on the U.S. on 9/11 and the 2001 NFL Season he and his brother Kevin (who had signed with the Cleveland Indians) made a decision and on May 31st 2002, they both enlisted in the U.S. Army to defend our country.
Both Tillman’s completed the Ranger Indoctrination Program, and served in the 2nd Ranger Battalion. Pat served his time but continued to go back and serve several tours again showing his loyalty, this time to his country.
Even though Corporal Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire, he was killed in the line of duty defending the country that he loved, and for his fellow Americans. Tillman’s love, and loyalty is something we should all have, because this is our country a land of the free and the home of the brave!
Thank you to Pat Tillman, and all the other brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us as American s and for this Great Country of ours!