Todd Beamer was 32 when he died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack onboard United
Airlines Flight 93. He left behind a wife, two sons and a daughter who
was born nearly four months after her father’s death.
Todd and other passengers had been in touch with
people by cell phones and learned that the
had been attacked by hijacked airplanes. Beamer tried to place a credit
card call by a phone on the back of a plane seat, but reached a customer
service representative instead. She passed him on to supervisor Lisa
He told her that one passenger was killed. A flight
attendant told him that the pilot and co-pilot had been forced from the
cockpit and were probably wounded. He later told
that some of the plane’s passengers were planning to jump the hijackers.
that Beamer’s last words were, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” His
words later became the war cry in
for the troops fighting Al Qaeda. They were also words that he had used
in his life. His sons knew when Dad said, “Let’s roll,” they had better
be heading out the door.
I just finished reading Lisa Beamer’s biography,
“Let’s Roll,” for the second time. She relied on her faith in God to
help her through a terrible experience that would cause others to
despise the terrorists and look for vengeance. Too many of us will
remember how we have been hurt and never forgive what has happened in
the past, but Lisa Beamer uses this tragedy as a way to move forward.
This book teaches us to always move on, but never forget the past.
One of our associates at the Chronicle always
reminds us, “We can’t know where we are going, if we don’t know where we