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Memorial Day: A great time to remember Pat Tillman and others who have fallen in duty

A quick look at some links that remind everyone why this three day "weekend" is recognized.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Today is Memorial Day and for some people, mostly youngsters, signals only one thing- the beginning of swimming, camping, barbeques and sunbathing. The start of Summer is "officially" here.

But for parents, sisters, brothers, friends, coworkers, etc.. that have had loved ones lost in battle - Memorial Day has a different meaning. Primarily, acknowledgement and sadness of lives taken well too soon in trying to represent what the United States of America stands for.

Since this is a football site with the Cardinals as the main subject, Pat Tillman is going to be an obvious focal point. As even the most casual football fan knows, the former Arizona safety turned down a NFL contract to sign up with the Army only to be killed by "friendly fire" three years later.

And while he is just one of an estimated 1.5 million Americans that have lost their lives (and you know how Tillman would feel about being mentioned as anything close to a martyr) people are still going to remember him in their own way.

Some Tillman - related Memorial Day links:

A short list of sports figures who died while serving their country:

Then, a 5-7 Korean War veteran that was the first Dallas Cowboys QB has an exhibit this holiday that includes a Tillman display:

And finally, a vet that will be writing the names of over 2,000 servicemen and women that died in Afghanistan on a specially crafted board during today's DBacks- Rangers doubleheader - strictly from memory:

On a personal note, I have a co-worker that has lost a husband and two sons. While she remains upbeat - she is adamant about keeping their memories alive- and gave an unforgettable, stirring, emotional speech at a morning meeting on Friday.

So maybe while burning hamburgers or falling asleep while getting a tan or doing a belly flop while trying to show off - everyone can take a moment to thank those who have given us those options?