Somewhere Pat Tillman is Smiling
Published: May 02, 2011 @ 10:30am
Members of the Arizona Cardinals staff, who wished to remain unidentified, set up a picture of Cpl. Pat Tillman before a public memorial service at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden in San Jose, Calif., Monday, May 3, 2004. Tillman, a former Cardinal player and San Jose native, was killed in action in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
I got the call Sunday night around 7:30pm from Gambo. "We killed Bin Laden!"
I, like a lot of people, was waiting for the punchline thinking it was some sort of a joke. There was no punchline. Just a devastating right hook to the face of terrorism.
For the next five hours I watched CNN. I saw when at first there were about 50 people outside the gates of the White House, then there were 100 and soon thousands. I cried when they started singing the Star Spangled Banner. I got chills when they cut to live footage at Ground Zero. I saw the satisfaction and jubilation on the faces of Americans. We finally got the man responsible for 9-11. The man who killed thousands of innocent people all over the world. We finally got Osama Bin Laden!
There was one face that I didn't see. That was the face of Pat Tillman. When the news first broke I thought about all the families and friends of those lost in the events of 9/11. I imagined that somehow, this was closure. It was redemption, a lot like when a murderer is given a lethal injection and the family of the ones killed watch from another room. I hope that is the case with Bin Laden's death for those families.
The second person I thought about was Pat Tillman, who died 7 years ago on April 22nd. Pat died trying to find Bin Laden. Now, I don't know if Pat's Army Ranger team was specifically looking for Bin Laden, but I do believe that Bin Laden's acts made Pat want to join the Army Rangers and go get the man responsible for our nation's devastation. I think that is why many young men and women in the last decade have joined our Armed Forces.
Protection and payback!
I can only imagine that somewhere Pat Tillman is smiling today. I can only imagine that somewhere countless young men and women, who gave their lives serving our country are smiling today. I hope that my co-worker Niki today for maybe the first time in a long time can smile. She lost her son PFC Dustin Feldhaus in Afghanistan in March. He was 20.
Our country is amazing in the fact that most of us go about a daily life not thinking about how great it is to be an American. We take our freedoms for granted and sometimes don't show our patriotism nearly as much as we should.
When you go to your next Diamondback game and the National Anthem is about to be performed, do me a favor. Take off your hat, put down your beer, don't look at your phone to see who just texted you and sing. Sing with pride for our country, chant USA...USA! Tell a member of the Armed Forces thank you for what they do.
We live in a great country, the best country and let's not take that for granted. Events like the death of Osama Bin Laden are our little reminders. To steal a line from my favorite country music singer Toby Keith, "Justice will be served and the battle will rage, this big dog will fight when you rattle his cage and you'll be sorry that you messed with the U. S. of A. 'cause we'll put a boot in your ass it's the American way!"