Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared Feb. 2 to be "Chris Kyle Day" in the Lone Star State.
Abbott, who succeeded fellow Republican Rick Perry as governor earlier this month, called the late Navy SEAL "a true American hero."
"I have declared Feb. 2 to be Chris Kyle Day in Texas. We honor our military heroes," Abbott tweeted Friday.
Monday, Feb. 2 will be the two-year anniversary of Kyle's death.
I have declared Feb. 2 to be Chris Kyle Day in Texas. We honor our military heroes. @ChrisKyleFrog#txlege#tcotpic.twitter.com/rhLhIlevNM— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 30, 2015
Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were fatally shot at a gun range southwest of Fort Worth, Texas. Ex-Marine Eddie Ray Routh was charged with capital murder. He remains in jail in lieu of $3 million bail; his trial is scheduled to start next month.
The release of the film "American Sniper," based on Kyle's life, has brought forth criticism of Kyle and his military service. On Thursday, NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin said Kyle may have been "racist" against Iraqis and gone on “killing sprees.” Comedian Bill Maher called Kyle a "psychopath patriot" and filmmaker Michael Moore has posted multiple tweetscastigating snipers.
Others have taken issue with such statements and strongly backed up Kyle and the movie.
This story has been updated.
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