(WKBN) – On this day 20 years ago, 40 people on Flight 93 sacrificed their lives in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to save others.
One of the leaders was Todd Beamer. His parents are both graduates of Sebring High School.
“Let’s roll” are two words that live in the minds and hearts of Beamer’s family and many Americans forever.
“Which was a call to action. To do the right thing, and do it at the right time,” his father, David Beamer, said.
That’s what his son and 39 others on Flight 93 bound for San Francisco from New Jersey did.
“He was planning to take a red eye flight home from San Francisco the same evening; the plan [was] to have breakfast with his wife and two little boys on September 12,” David Beamer said.
During the flight those on the plane turned from passengers to heroes. They recognized their plane had been hijacked and decided to stop the terrorists before they could do more damage.
“It wasn’t the enemy’s plan to crash in a quiet field outside Shanksville, right, and… we knew that Todd would have been involved, right, not sitting quietly in the back of the plane,” David Beamer said.
David was right. Todd was one of the leaders in stopping the hijackers.
He talked with an operator named Lisa Jefferson in Chicago about what to do and when to do it, and that’s when the last words from Todd Beamer were heard: “Let’s roll.”
“It was also a blessing, that it was Lisa Jefferson on the other end of that phone call,” David Beamer said. “She was trained; she was professional; she was a caring human being.”
While losing his son still hurts, Beamer is proud of him for helping stop the terrorists on Flight 93, and he credits his strong faith for helping him cope with the loss.
David and his family hope by sharing their story it teaches people about what happened that day and why faith is important.
“We have this set of experiences that we didn’t we didn’t ask for, but we think of some positive things [that] can come from us sharing experiences with other people,” he said.
David said typically they lay low around this time of the year. However, this year they’re going to a ceremony in Washington and then stopping at a school nearby named after their son, Todd.