I don’t want to suggest in any way that the honour and attention being afforded Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan is in any way unearned. And I should not be surprised that our celebrity-driven culture latches onto a story in which a “name” is involved.
But I sat at lunch and idly watched as Fox News talked about nothing but Tillman’s death. For an hour. With commentary from a variety of journalists and pundits, and a conversation with his old college roommate and a variety of lauds and repeated reference to the multi-million dollar contract that he walked away from in order to join the Army.
And he should be commended for that, to be sure.
But….every single man and woman who has died in the service of this country deserves just as much attention. Every single soldier in our military is someone’s son or daughter, someone’s brother or sister, someone’s mother or father, someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife. Every single one of them volunteered to go into harms way in the service of their country.
Over 700 US soldiers (and another 100 UK and other coalition forces) have died in Iraq alone over the last 13 months. Every single one of them was as much a hero. Every single one of them. Why don’t each of them get their hour of television? Why don’t we know each and every one of their names as well as we know the name of Pat Tillman?
Maybe I’m just cynical, and maybe I’m just plain wrong, but somehow the whole spectacle that’s being made of Tillman and his sacrifice leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.