To the editor:
A bridge dedicated to Mike O’Callaghan and Pat Tillman is not only an honor and humbling, it’s apropos. Two men. One lived his life to serve his country. The other lost his life while serving his country. Each man represented not only Nevada and Arizona, but America.
Every American who lives life with a purpose and vision ultimately leaves a legacy for others to consider.
Mike O’Callaghan served in three of the four branches of the military and ultimately lost his leg in the Korean War. My father’s fight didn’t end there. He continued his mission fighting for Nevadans as governor, and fighting for human rights for Americans across this country and around the world.
His vision was for people to be empowered with the knowledge, tools and support to be able to live and enjoy their lives while building bridges of opportunity and mutual empowerment for others to cross.
Pat Tillman didn’t have a lifetime to make the differences that Mike O’Callaghan did, yet he didn’t need a lifetime. After 9/11, Pat Tillman made a decision. That one decision would forever change the life of his family, friends and Americans such as you and me.
Tillman, a former Arizona State University and Arizona Cardinals star, gave up a football player’s life fighting for victory on the field for a life fighting for the freedom and the protection of others. He did this by exchanging his cleats on the football field for Army boots on the battlefield as an American soldier fighting in Afghanistan.
As a daughter, Nevadan and American, I am honored while humbled that the naming of one of our nation’s wonders is memorialized after Americans who sacrificed fame for the love of their state, country and all of humanity.
Mary Colleen O’Callaghan-Miele