Despite the nearly-eighteen years since, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 have remained scarred into the hearts of this generation and will forever live in infamy. Albeit difficult to remember at times—given the dense fog of terror and tragedy—there is an overwhelming number of brave individuals who took heroic action on that fateful day.
One of these heroes is the late Jeremy Glick—a passenger onboard United Airlines Flight 93, husband, father, and former National Collegiate Judo champion. For those of you who are involved in the sport of Judo—or it’s close-cousin, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu—you know just the type of man that Jeremy was.
“He was a no nonsense kind of guy. He took ownership of things. Very focused,” said Glick’s former boss, Thomas Torf (according to San Francisco Business Times). “He loved his family. He was a good business man. All of us loved him.”
Sadly—as we know—United Flight 93 was one of four commercial airliners that were tragically hijacked by terrorists on 9/11. There’s one slight difference between Flight 93 and the rest of the airplane hijackings that took pace—this plane had a Judo practitioner on board. The terrorists did not manage to fly this airplane to their desired destination thanks to the brave passengers on board who stood up to the hijackers and fought for control of the plane (Glick being one of them).
According to accounts of cell phone conversations, Glick, along with passengers Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham and Tom Burnett, formed a plan to take the plane back from the hijackers, and led other passengers in this effort. Glick’s last words to his wife when aboard Flight 93 were: “We’re going to rush the hijackers.”
As Martial Artists, the bravery of Jeremy Glick serves as a lesson that once joining a combative sport, we have the ability to use our bravery, strength, confidence, and leadership to improve the world around us.
May the legacy of Jeremy Glick live on to remind belted members of the Judo & BJJ community that we DO NOT back down when it is time to protect those around us…
In September 2008, the United States Judo Association (USJA), awarded Glick with an Honorary 10th Degree black belt (via Daily American).
A non-profit organization called Jeremy’s Heroes has been established by Jeremy’s brothers and sisters. It is dedicated to building character and confidence in America’s youth through sports.