Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Day To Remember...

Being November 11th, Remembrance Day in Canada, Veterans Day in the States, it's a time to remember everyone who has given their time, their spirit and in far too many cases, their lives, for our freedom.

It's a day to remember people like Pat Tillman.

For those who are unaware, Tillman was a starting safety with the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL.

He had dedicated his life to football and the Cardinals, even turning down a multi-year contract offer from the St. Louis Rams so he could remain loyal to the Cards.

But more than anything, Tillman was loyal to his country.

In May 2002, eight months after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Tillman gave up his football career to serve his country in the Army.

After going through all the usual levels of training and participation in the field, Tillman was eventually redeployed to Afghanistan.

On April 2004, nearly two years after Tillman left football behind for a life as a soldier, Pat Tillman was killed.

Initially the Army told his family that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire...and subsquently he was awarded a Silver Star for his selfless actions in trying to protect his fellow soldiers.

But it wasn't a simple open and shut case...far from it.

As the details emerged, it turned out that no hostile forces were involved in the firefight. It was reported that the two Allied Forces groups fired upon each other in confusion, after a explosive device detonated nearby.

There were more accusations that Tillman may have been killed by shots fired at short range...perhaps by his fellow soldiers. The coroner even refused to sign the autopsy because he said the gunshot wounds were not consistent with the Army's original story.

But what DID really happen?

Finally July 14, 2008 the investigation committee stated that its "investigation was frustrated by a near universal lack of recall" among "senior officials at the White House" and the military. It concluded:

"The pervasive lack of recollection and absence of specific information makes it impossible for the Committee to assign responsibility for the misinformation in Corporal Tillman’s and Private Lynch’s (another soldier) cases. It is clear, however, that the Defense Department did not meet its most basic obligations in sharing accurate information with the families and with the American public."

To date, the REAL truth about what happened to Pat Tillman has not been determined. A very sad and tragic ending to Pat Tillman's time on this planet.

Can you think of another pro athlete that would give up EVERYTHING to join the military? Without knowing any of them personally, I highly doubt that there is anyone who would make the choice and sacrifice that Pat Tillman did.

Please take time today to remember EVERYONE who has, and continues, to serve our (or your) country and fight for the freedom that we currently enjoy.

For more check out the 60 Minutes piece from May 4, 2008:


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