Cardinals to honor Tillman at new stadium Sunday
PHOENIX -- Pat Tillman, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 after quitting the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to join the U.S. Army Rangers, is scheduled to be honored by the team this weekend.
What really happened when Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire in 2004? A three-part E-ticket investigation in 2006 sought answers.
• Part 1: An Un-American Tragedy
• Part 2: Playing With Friendly Fire
• Part 3: Death of an American Ideal
• Part 4: Last Act of a Hero
During a ceremony at halftime of Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Cardinals plan to induct Tillman into the University of Phoenix Stadium's Ring of Honor.
The team also will dedicate the outdoor pedestrian walkway ringing the stadium as Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza and unveil a bronze statue of him near the Glendale venue's northwestern corner.
Tillman's parents and widow are among those expected to attend the ceremonies.
"We honor a lot of individuals for what they accomplished on the field," Cardinals spokesman Mark Dalton said. "But what he did away from the field, displaying his conviction and principles and what he stood for, is what you'd hope every member of the organization would stand for."
Tillman, who would have turned 30 last Monday, was drafted in the seventh round in 1998 out of Arizona State where he was voted Pac-10 defensive player of the year.
He started for three years as strong safety for the Cardinals. But after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Tillman turned down a $3.6 million contract and left the team before the 2002 season to enlist in the Army.
Tillman was killed on April 22, 2004, when members of his own platoon fired in his direction in an incident that remains under investigation by the Army.
The Cardinals retired his No. 40 jersey after his death.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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