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Tillman honored on his NFL, college field

By Wire services
Published May 9, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. - On the playing field where he had some of his brightest sports moments, Pat Tillman was remembered Saturday as a nonconformist who gave up his football career - and ultimately his life - to fight for his country.

Tillman, the first NFL player to die in combat since the Vietnam War, was honored at Sun Devil Stadium, where he played for Arizona State and the Cardinals.

About 5,000 people attended, including Tillman's widow, Maria, his parents and many former teammates and coaches.

Another service was held Monday in San Jose, Calif., his hometown.

An Army Ranger who turned away from a multimillion-dollar NFL contract to enlist after the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Tillman was fatally shot in a firefight April 22 in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

The Army posthumously promoted him to corporal and awarded him the Silver Star for valor and the Purple Heart.

"These types of noble acts by men of Pat Tillman's stature are going to reverberate for a long, long time," said former Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis, who choked back tears several times during his remarks.

Tillman graduated summa cum laude in marketing after 31/2 years and was Pac-10 defensive player of the year in 1997.

BRONCOS: The team plans to release quarterback Steve Beuerlein on Monday.

DOLPHINS: Rookie defensive back Will Poole was released from a Los Angeles jail after serving less than a day of a five-day sentence for driving under the influence.

[Last modified May 9, 2004, 01:41:11]


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