- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The widow of Pat Tillman asked for President Trump to stop politicizing her husband’s military service.

Tillman, who died in a friendly fire incident in 2004 while serving in Afghanistan, played in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals before retiring to join the Army after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Trump retweeted Monday a photo of Tillman with the hashtag #StandForOurAnthem, days after saying players who kneel during the national anthem deserve to be fired.

In a statement to CNN, Tillman’s wife, Marie, said she hoped leaders would learn from the “lessons of Pat’s life and death.”

“As a football player and soldier, Pat inspired countless Americans to unify,” she said. “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,” she said. “They and their families know the cost of that fight. I know the very personal costs in a way I feel acutely every day. 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,” Mrs. Tillman said.

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