Texas honors Navy SEAL marksman Chris Kyle with "Chris Kyle Day"
Kyle was a U.S. Navy SEAL and the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills
AUSTIN, Texas - The man who is the focus of the blockbuster movie American Sniper was honored Monday.
A small display of flowers, flags, even a bottle of beer, was placed Monday morning at Chris Kyle's grave site. A fellow service member, who was among the first to stop by, knelt down and shared a symbolic drink with the fallen warrior. Not far away, at the state capitol, flags were lowered as Governor Greg Abbott declared February 2nd Chris Kyle Day in Texas.
"America needs heroes, men and women who do more than just inspire us, men and women who protect us, keep us safe, protect the liberty that has made this nation the premiere nation in the history of the world."
While Abbott's signature recognizes Kyle for this one day, State Senator Donna Campbell (R) New Braunfels is drafting legislation that would make it a yearly observance. The annual Chris Kyle Day would include an awareness regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. House member Joe Pickett (D) El Paso believes there will be strong support for Campbell's legislation.
"I think Chris Kyle will be associated with issues that face veterans in this country, so yeah I don't think there is anything wrong with this being an annual affair," he said.
Mike Granger said he came to the state cemetery to honor Kyle's courage.
"Well he was a great American, and was the best sniper in the US military," Granger said.
Chris Kyle was a retired Navy Seal. A book he wrote about his tours of duty was recently adapted into a movie. He and a friend were shot and killed at a north Texas gun range in 2013.
Lowell Craig Whitted was among those who said a prayer while at the grave.
"Yeah certainty said a quick prayer for Mr. Kyle, and his family. Certainly lots of prayers for his wife and kids as they grow up, have a memory of a great American in their minds and hearts as the years go on."
There is no headstone because it's still being made. Designer Gilbert Beall tells FOX 7 it is 6 feet tall and will incorporate a bronze image of Kyle with his rifle. Beall hopes to have the headstone installed by March.
The State Senate Monday also adjourned in Kyle's memory.