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This statue honoring Pat Tillman Memorial was dedicated shortly after his death. Pat Tillman was an NFL player who was so moved by the tragic events of September 11th that he enlisted into the United States Army. Tillman played for the Arizona Cardinals from 1998-2001 after being drafted by the team in the 7th round of the 1998 draft. Prior to entering the NFL, Tillman was a decorated defensive player for nearby Arizona State University.


  • Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza

Tillman enlisted into the Army with intention to be a member of the Rangers along with his brother Kevin on May 31, 2002.  Tillman earned his Ranger tab between deployments from Iraq to Afghanistan. Tillman was killed in a battle in April, 2004. Although it was initially reported that Tillman was killed in action by enemy fire, the media revealed the truth that Tillman had been killed by accident by one of his fellow troops during a firefight.

Tillman's decision to leave a lucrative career in professional football remains an inspiring tale despite its tragic ending. Many Americans proudly wear his jersey as a statement that transcends football. The Cardinals retired Tillman's #40 jersey in honor of him and his service to both the team and the United States. The team owners created the Pat Tillman Monument and Freedom Plaza to further honor Tillman as a Cardinals player and as a member of the US Army.

Tillman’s Presence Is Still Strong, The New York Times, January 30, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/sports/football/31tillman.html Accessed June 18, 2017.