- The Washington Times - Friday, January 30, 2015

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that Feb. 2 would be declared “Chris Kyle Day” after the Navy SEAL whose autobiography inspired the box-office hit “American Sniper.”

Mr. Abbott, who was inaugurated earlier this month, called the late Mr. Kyle “a true American hero,” The Blaze reported.

The Republican governor made the announcement via Twitter Friday afternoon, saying, “I have declared Feb. 2 to be Chris Kyle Day in Texas. We honor our military heroes.”

The day will mark two years since Mr. Kyle was fatally shot at a gun range southwest of Fort Worth by former Marine Eddie Ray Routh.

Mr. Routh is charged with capital murder and remains in jail. His trial is set to begin next month.

The release of the Clint Eastwood-directed film “American Sniper” has sparked criticism of Mr. Kyle’s actions in Iraq. Director Michael Moore called snipers “cowards” on Twitter and NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin said Mr. Kyle may have been a “racist” who went on “killing sprees.”

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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