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NFL Memorial Day Tribute: Pat Tillman

Arizona Cardinals & US Army Ranger Pat Tillman

After the United States of America was cowardly attacked on September 11, 2001 with the downing of the World Trade Centers, Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman decided he had seen enough. He enlisted in the service, never looking back on his lucrative career in the NFL. Tillman wanted to join his brother and serve in the U.S. Army as an Army Ranger, which he did in the summer of 2002.

Tillman completed several tours in combat before he was killed in action while on a mission in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. The circumstances surrounding Tillman's death created a huge stir in that while it was first reported that he was killed by enemy fire, it was later acknowledged that he was accidentally shot by "friendly fire."

Tillman's life and death is still spoken about with reverence for what he was so willing to sacrifice on behalf for his country and fellow soldiers. Growing up in California, going to college at Arizona State University, Tillman was drafted by the Cardinals in the 1998 NFL Draft. When he came up for free agency years later, he turned down more money from the St. Louis Rams to remain with Arizona. Even then, his loyalty shined through.

Enjoying a solid pro career, Tillman turned down a three-year, $3.6 million contract to enlist in the U.S. Army. The rest is history and as such should be remembered on this Memorial Day when we recall all that others have done to make the ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy all of our freedoms we take for granted on a daily basis.