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Detroit man who attempted to save girls from drowning awarded first-ever Flight 93 Heroes Award

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Posted at 2:23 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 14:25:54-04

The Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial, a group that commemorates the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which was one of four aircraft hijacked in the September 11 attacks, has awarded Sivad Johnson as the group's first-ever Flight 93 Heroes Award recipient.

The award honors individuals who display selfless courage at the risk of one's safety and is meant to commemorate the bravery shown by the 40 passengers and crew members on board Flight 93.

On Friday, Johnson, a Detroit fire department sergeant, was announced as the winner.

Sivad-Johnson
Sivad Johnson

Johnson was rewarded for his bravery on August 21, 2020, when he heard three girls in the Detroit River screaming for help while on a walk with his daughter. He immediately jumped into the water.

Johnson died trying to save the three girls.

It is believed he was caught in a rip current.

The three girls were rescued by others who also were helping.

"The Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial is honored to present the first Flight 93 Heroes Award to the family of Sivad Johnson," president of the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial Donna Gibson said. "He truly showed the same courage and split-second decision-making that put his life at risk as did those onboard Flight 93. With this recognition today, on the eve of the 20th commemoration of 9/11, we remind all Americans and those around the world about the actions that took place onboard Flight 93 and how it forever changed the course of history."

Johnson's sister, Eboni Thomas, nominated her brother for the Flight 93 Heroes Award. She said he always put others first and lived his life giving back to the community.

"He didn't hesitate when he heard those calls for help," she said. "He gave his life trying to make sure others were safe. On behalf of my entire family, we want to thank the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial for sharing my brother's story and connecting it to the brave actions displayed by the 40 heroes of Flight 93."

Johnson was chosen for the award from among four finalists.