We wrote about Pat Tillman here, and here, and here. Peggy Noonan considered the example he set when he abandoned his NFL career to join the Army: “Privileged to serve.”
He is an American hero, his death a horrible loss: “Former NFL player killed in Afghanistan.” We must strive harder to be worthy of the sacrifice made on our behalf. RIP.
HINDROCKET adds: I returned home tonight from another week in the isolation chamber of a jury trial to learn that Pat Tillman had been killed in an ambush while hunting Islamofascists in southeastern Afghanistan. The news brought tears to my eyes, as to many others. Already, some are asking why Tillman is so special, and why there is so much grief over his death when hundreds of other, less well known soldiers have also perished.
Stalin, who was neither stupid nor crazy, said that a single death is a tragedy, whereas a million deaths are but a statistic. It is true that the human imagination fastens on to single personalities, not casualty statistics. There is no reason to apologize for the fact that Tillman, a professional athlete who turned away from millions of dollars in salary to serve his country as an Army Ranger, is better known to the public than other Americans who have sacrificed equally. He is as good a symbol as any to stand for them all.
I suspect, too, that a good many young Americans are studying his example. Opponents of American action warn that killing Islamofascists will only cause an even larger number of Islamofascists to spring up in their place. This calculus is, I think, dubious. But I have no doubt that all across America, thousands of young American men are pondering the example–the truly heroic example–of Pat Tillman. They are strong, and tough, and idealistic, and quite a bit smarter, I think, than their detractors will acknowledge. And everywhere in America, I suspect that they will be inspired by Tillman’s example to enlist in the fight against Islamofascism, as pure a form of evil as this planet has ever seen. Tillman’s death will, surely, be avenged by others as determined and as patriotic as he was. The enemy, by killing him as by killing other Americans, has only hastened the day of its own destruction.
For now, though, a thank you from us and our readers to Pat Tillman and all others who have given their lives so that we and our families need not live in the shadow of terror.
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