Flight 93 passengers selected for Ashe Award
LOS ANGELES -- Four passengers who died on Flight 93 during the Sept. 11 attacks werr honored with the ESPY's Arthur Ashe Courage Award on Wednesday night.
Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick all had sports backgrounds and were recognized Wednesday night at the ESPY Awards.
Actor Dennis Franz presented the award to each of the families, while actor Tom Hanks did the voiceover for a moving video tribute that was shown during the ceremony at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre.
"When I got this call from ESPN, I thought, 'Todd, you are so happy right now,'" said Beamer's widow, Lisa. "To be on ESPN is something that he never would have dreamed of. He so much admired pre-eminent athletes. Sports was a really important thing to him."
Beamer played baseball and basketball at Wheaton College in Illinois. Bingham was a two-time college rugby champion at California. Burnett was a star high school quarterback in Bloomington, Minn. Glick was a national collegiate judo champion in 1993 at Rochester.
"I know that Jeremy would have been so enthusiastic to be here in person, but I know that he will be there in spirit, which does make it an emotional event for me," said Glick's widow, Lyz.
All four were aboard the airliner, bound from Newark to San Francisco, that crashed in rural western Pennsylvania. Many have speculated that the passengers, including Beamer, Bingham, Burnett and Glick, kept the hijackers from plunging the jet into a populated target.
The ESPY Awards, created by sports network ESPN, were moved from February to July so the show would not compete with the Super Bowl, which was rescheduled because of the attacks.
Past winners of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award include: Jim Valvano (1993), Steve Palermo (1994) Howard Cosell (1995), Loretta Claiborne (1996), Muhammad Ali (1997), Dean Smith (1998), Billie Jean King (1999), Dave Sanders (2000) and Cathy Freeman (2001).