Monday, September 20, 2004

One way to remember a hero

I think the term hero is overused. To me a hero is one who puts others above him/her self. There are everyday heros - firefighters, policeman, and paramedics come to mind. Think about it - each one of these professionals goes to where the bad stuff is happening. People like me are usually going the other way.

I cringe whenever I hear an athlete referred to as a hero. These poor folks, playing a game for a living. Some making millions a year. To play a game. Very poorly at times. Granted that some of these players are heroic on the playing field but rarely does there 'sacrifice' go beyond the game. Some pro athletes give much of their time and money off the field to charity. That is admirable. Not quite heroic but incredibly admirable.

To every rule there is an exception. On April 22nd, 2004 a true hero died. A man who had it all: playing pro football, multi-million dollar contract, everything he had worked for. He died in Afghanistan fighting for the country he loved. Pat Tillman gave all.

As a football player he was intense. After the attacks on 9/11 he decided to serve so he joined the Army. Walked away from all that he had. And then became a Ranger. One look at the Ranger motto - "Rangers Lead the Way" makes it clear that Pat would be a Ranger as he led. No following, no getting in the way, just leading.

So what can I do to make sure that someone like Pat Tillman isn't forgotten. It's pretty simple really. And it's cheap. NFL Shops now has Tillman jerseys and proceeds benefit the Pat Tillman Foundation.

As a Bears fan it will be difficult to not wear the my teams colors but a Tillman jersey will be the right thing to wear.

No comments: