30. Pat Tillman
9/11 literally changed the way we think about the world today. Pat Tillman exemplified the spirit of a nation when he decided to walk away from a blossoming career in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the US army. He turned down a $3.6 million contract to join the army. From there, he served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Army Rangers, on several tours of duty before he tragically died.
Tillman died as a result of friendly fire. He became the first professional football player to die in combat since Bob Kalsu, who was killed in 1970 during the Vietnam War. The military posthumously promoted him from specialist to corporal and was also awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star medals.