July 14, 2010
Iowans accepted awards and brought smiles and tears to the annual ESPYs ceremony Wednesday night in Los Angeles, Calif.
The family of slain Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas accepted the Arthur Ashe Courage Award Wednesday night, as the parents of murderer Mark Becker applauded from their seats in Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre.
Aaron Thomas, the coach’s son, spoke in front of a national television audience after accepting a statuette from NFL quarterback Brett Favre.
“When you look at former winners and the company we’ve joined – from coach (Jim) Valvano, to the Tillman brothers to Nelson Mandela – and to think that our dad and the example he set at doing what’s right has led us into the category,” Aaron Thomas said. “We went through many tough times, but we had a great example from my father in how to handle adversity.”
The comments came after a video tribute explaining how Ed Thomas rallied the Parkersburg community after a devastating E5 tornado in 2008, how he was gunned downed the following year and how the Thomas family showed compassion toward the Beckers, who are close friends.
Members of the Becker family were also interviewed in the video.
“I view this as kind of the total opposite,” Aaron Thomas said. “I never once imagined we’d burry my dad (after) being murdered. And I never once imagined we’d be at the ESPYs receiving an award from Brett Favre.”
Thomas’ perspective drew a laugh.
U.S. Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa has introduced legislation in the honor of former Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas. The legislation is to help ensure the safety of families and communities. The legislation will clarify existing privacy requirement to allow law enforcement agencies and medical providers to communicate more effectively when patients pose an inherent risk to the community. Thomas was fatally shot in June of last year by a former student, Mark Becker. Becker was hospitalized in a mental health unit and then released several days before the shooting. He currently is serving a life in prison sentence.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
what he must/mustn’t do (EA) and how he obtained/lost his heart’s desire (ES) both = 51 = Honor. Legislation. Police. Fatally shot.