Wilmington mayor announces award honoring Thomas Cottingham

 A crowd gathered to remember Thomas Cottingham as a park bench was dedicated in his honor in Rodney Square. (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

A crowd gathered to remember Thomas Cottingham as a park bench was dedicated in his honor in Rodney Square. (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

A Good Samaritan award has been created in the name of a Wilmington man who was killed protecting a woman and her baby from a knife-wielding attacker.

Mayor Dennis Williams, D-Wilmington, announced Wednesday an executive order to launch the Thomas L. Cottingham Good Samaritan award.

The honor will be presented to an individual who displays an act of courage for the greater good of others during the annual Wilmington Awards.

“There is no greater sacrifice than to give up one’s life to save another,” Williams said in a statement.

“This young man made the ultimate sacrifice as he came to the aid of a mother and her child—neither of whom he knew. We must continue to recognize Mr. Cottingham for his bravery and his heroism as a good Samaritan.”

Cottingham, 27, died in Wilmington in September while trying to save a young woman and her baby from an attacker carrying a knife.

On Nov. 14 a plaque was dedicated to Cottingham on a park bench in Rodney Square to remember his sacrifice.

The Wilmington Awards honor Wilmington citizens and those who serve the City of Wilmington who display excellence in areas like the arts, community service, faith and civil rights activism. Starting in 2016, the award of good Samaritanism will be presented to remember Cottingham.

Williams’ executive order states, “that the selfless act of courage and humanity performed by Thomas will forever live on and be remembered; to ensure Thomas is not forgotten, in his honor individuals who perform superior acts of bravery and kindness from this point forward will be recognized and awarded the Thomas L. Cottingham Good Samaritan Award.”

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