By Brian Stelter and the CNN Media team:
“Stop Using Pat Tillman,” by Deadspin’s Patrick Redford, explains why this is so disturbing.
On Monday night, Pat’s widow Marie Tillman shared this statement with me. She has been sharply critical of the president in the past. She is hoping this statement reaches him.
“As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify,” Tillman wrote. “It is my hope that his memory should always remind people that we must come together. Pat’s service, along with that of every man and woman’s service, should never be politicized in a way that divides us. We are too great of a country for that. Those that serve fight for the American ideals of freedom, justice and democracy. They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day.”
Tillman added: “The very action of self expression and the freedom to speak from one’s heart — no matter those views — is what Pat and so many other Americans have given their lives for. Even if they didn’t always agree with those views. It is my sincere hope that our leaders both understand and learn from the lessons of Pat’s life and death, and also those of so many other brave Americans.”