Warriors VP remembers father's heroism, 20 years after 9/11

Golden State Warriors

Warriors vice president of ticket sales John Beaven recalls the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 vividly.

It's the day he lost his father, Alan, who was a passenger on Flight 93, the fourth plane that crashed in the countryside of Pennsylvania. It was the only highjacked flight that did not reach its intended target.

Alan had a handwritten sticky note posted in his office that read, "Fear, who cares?"

And that was the mindset Beaven believes his father had when he boarded his flight, already knowing what had happened in New York City and Washington D.C earlier that day.

"They decided to take matters into their own hands," Beaven told Warriors legend and New York native Chris Mullin during a visit to the 9/11 memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in July.

"They grabbed the yolk of the plane and the rest is history. But they made sure it went down in a place where no one else would be hurt." For that, amongst other reasons, Beavan considers his father a hero. 

Mullin's memories of that day remain clear. The night before, he, his wife and their children flew from New York to San Francisco. He woke up to his phone being bombarded with texts and calls making sure they were alright. 

He has friends who lost loved ones that day, but considers himself lucky that he didn't lose anyone closer to him. For that reason, he was at a loss for words when hearing Beaven's story. 

"We were in the room where they had the flight plan of Flight 93, and just to be standing there with him, I was speechless," Mullin told NBC Sports Bay Area. "There's nothing to say or do. Just be there. There is somewhat of a hopeless feeling because you want to show care and concern, but what can you really do? Just be there and try to support."


It was Mullin's first time at this particular 9/11 memorial, as well as Beaven's daughter's, Sara. Bringing her there was especially important to her father. Beaven's father never got to meet her, so for him, it's a way to keep his presence and memory everlasting in their family. 

"I know he's proud of my family," Beaven said. "He didn't get to meet my wife, he didn't get to meet any of my kids. I'm sure he would have loved to have seen what they are becoming. I think one of his greatest gifts to me was showing me what it meant to be a great dad and a great parent."

Beaven has been able to move forward following the tragic death of his father, and the countless other lives that were lost on this date twenty years ago. The message, "Fear, who cares?" that was on his dad's sticky note is one of the reasons why he doesn't dwell too much on it. 

As he walked through the Pennsylvania memorial or looked at his father's name engraved on the reflection pool in New York, Beaven doesn't think he'll ever have closure. But, he is grateful for the lasting memory of his dad, and the light in which he is resting. 

"It's pretty incredible to call my dad an American hero."

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