This past week has been a rollercoaster for the American people. Some citizens were ecstatic that now-President-Elect Donald J. Trump is going to become the 45th President of the United States. Then again, there are a large facet of people that are crushed that their choice for the next president was not chosen by the rest of the American people. However, the healing process has begun, and Veterans Day could not have come at a better time.
Regardless of your political views, one thing is for certain: those that have served, are serving or will serve in the future deserve our endless gratitude and respect. Modern day veterans face unique challenges when they come home from the Middle East, while World War II veterans, Korean War veterans, Vietnam War veterans, and Desert Storm veterans have to wake up every day and have visions of what happened years ago.
Because I am a sports fan, I always think of Pat Tillman on this day as well. For those of you that are unaware of Tillman's unique story, here is a story I wrote a few years back:
I always heard the story of Pat Tillman, but I never went in depth and did research on this American hero. So, on the 12th anniversary of his death, I thought it would be good for our readers to know this story if they do not already.
Pat Tillman was a safety who went to Arizona State, and later played for the Arizona Cardinals from 1998 to 2001. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Tillman left the NFL, and enlisted in the United States Army. He was a member of the initial invasion during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
Tillman then joined the special forces as an Army Ranger, and served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He died in Afghanistan after engaging with enemy forces in an apparent ambush, where he was shot and killed by friendly fire. Posthumously, Tillman received the Silver Star and Purple Heart, two of the highest medals one can receive.
I do not think that you will find a more selfless and heroic individual than Tillman. He had it all, but left it to defend his country and knew the ramifications for paying the ultimate price. If there were more people like Tillamn in this world, it would be a better place.
Thank you for your service, Mr. Tillman.
Today, I hope everyone decides to stop with the political rhetoric and come together to recognize those that defend our freedom. They sacrifice so I can write this article. They sacrifice so protestors can block highways after an election. They sacrifice so people can burn the American flag on college campuses. But I digress. Like I said, this is not about politics.
If you are walking down the street today and see a veteran, instead of keeping your head down or whipping out your phone, shake his or her hand. Thank them for what they have down for not only you, but the hundreds of millions of Americans that benefit from their selflessness every single day. In my opinion, this is the most important day of the entire year, even if many do not recognize this day.
From the entire Biased Boston Sports community, thank you, to all those that have served.