Flight 93 Heroes Award given posthumously to a Detroit firefighter who died saving three girls

Written by on September 13, 2021

Flight 93 Heroes Award given posthumously to a Detroit firefighter who died saving three girls

By Anthony Orozco / WITF

September 13, 2021

Christian Boyd, left, of Stoystown, Pa., and Kevin Huszek, right, of Somerset, Pa., ring bells as part of the Name Presentation and Ringing of Bells Remembrance of crew and passengers on United Flight 93, during a Flight 93 Memorial Service in Shanksville, Pa., as the nation marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. – Groups with deep ties to the Flight 93 National Memorial have recognized one man’s heroism as part of remembering the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

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An award presented  Sept. 10 honors both the bravery of that day and of today. 

Donna Gibson, president of the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial said the inaugural Flight 93 Heroes Award is rightfully bestowed on the late Sivad Johnson. 

Johnson was an off-duty Detroit firefighter who died last year as he saved three girls from drowning in a river. 

“As an off-duty firefighter, he really had no responsibility, so to speak, to save them, but he chose to save them in spite of what danger he might have put himself in,” Gibson said. 

Johnson’s family accepted the award on his behalf at a ceremony at the memorial in Somerset County. 

Johnson was among around 50 others nominated for the award. Finalists were selected by a committee that included families of passengers and crew who fought the terrorists and died on United Flight 93. 

The award will be given out annually to people who exemplify selflessness and bravery as a way to keep alive the memory of those who saved others in the face of grave danger. 

“…As a way to educate America about what happened, tell the story of our heroes, and ask America to tell us the story of their heroes,” Gibson said. 

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