"Let's Roll!"

Todd Beamer  ...  Tom Burnett Jr. ...  Geremy Glick  ...  Maybe others!   ...   Maybe many others!

   "We will never know for sure," said Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press. "But without question the attack would have been much worse if it hadn't been for the courageous acts of those individuals on United #93."

 Todd Beamer

who was a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and, according to an operator who talked to him during the flight, led other passengers to take action against the plane's terrorist hijackers just before the plane crashed in southwest Pennsylvania.  She said the last words she heard Todd say was "LET'S ROLL!"  

Todd Beamer's wife Lisa said that Todd often used the expression "Are you guys ready?  Let's roll!" when the family of Todd, Lisa and their two young sons were leaving their home for a family outing.  

Before using the familiar "Let's Roll!" on September 11, 2001 inside the passenger cabin of United Airlines Flight 93 Todd said a prayer with the GTE operator, Lisa Robinson, where they quoted the 23rd Psalm.  He and others then took action to prevent further deaths of innocent American victims on the ground.  They chose to attempt to reclaim the hijacked airline.  Todd led the group to action with the family outing rally call now turned battle cry "Let's Roll!"


Tom Burnett Jr.

Tom Burnett Jr. spoke to his wife by cell phone minutes before the United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in the fields of Pennsylvania.  "We are all going to die" he told her "but there are three of us who are going to do something about it."  And do something about it they did.  Because of their actions innocent American lives on the ground were saved.  They taught a lesson to us all when they, normal people in an abnormal situation, turned into Heroes! 



 Jeremy Glick

 who along with other passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 apparently took action against the hijackers aboard the plane Tuesday, September 11, 2001, shortly before crashing in rural southwest Pennsylvania.

   Lyzbeth Glick was with their three-month-old daughter, Emmie, when she received her husband's frantic call. Initially she pleaded with him to sit down and not to call attention to himself. Her instincts were to beg him to do whatever was necessary to try to save himself. But her 31-year-old husband told her it was not that sort of situation. It was far more desperate than personal survival, and he and a few other passengers had already decided to attack the hijackers.

    "I told him to go ahead and do it," Lyzbeth told ABC News. "I trusted his instincts, and I said ‘Do what you have to do.' I knew that -- I thought he could do it." Jeremy told her to stay on the line and that he would come back to tell her what came of the plan. He never did. The plane slammed into the ground.(excerpt from The FAX of Life)


Heroes are sometimes hard to find these days.  Heroes are often recognized as such only after their life is over.  Not many of us will ever actually be in the position to save the lives of others.  Especially if we are not in the professions where human life is impacted by our actions as a matter of the course of actions inherent in the profession.

Heroes were on board United Airlines Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.  Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett Jr. and Jeremy Glick and likely others were heroes in the truest sense.  They chose to give their lives if necessary to save others.  One of America's greatest traditions radiated for all to see in that passenger cabin when Todd exclaimed "Let's Roll!"  Terrorist likely saw something they could never understand.  While they were brainwashed into thinking they would be given special reward in the afterlife for dying in pursuit of their "cause," it is doubtful that they would have expected the "weak" Americans to willingly take action against them that would endanger their lives.  Todd, Tom and Jeremy, and likely others, showed the terrorist something new...something grand...something noble and true.  Heroism was on board United Airlines Flight 93 that day.

In light of the targets hit by three other hijacked airliners on September 11, 2001 (World Trade Towers and Pentagon), it seems likely that flight 93 was also intended to strike some high profile target or to attract an attack by US fighters.  Todd knew of the fate of the other hijacked airliners and others may have known as well. Their actions obviously saved lives.  Their actions obviously kept another hijacked airliner from crashing into its target wherever that target may have been.  United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a rural field in southwestern Pennsylvania, not a target where more American lives on the ground would be lost. The heroes made the brave and right choice!

Lisa Beamer said of Todd "Some people live their whole lives, long lives, without having left anything behind.  My sons will be told their whole lives that their father was a hero, that he saved lives.  It's a great legacy for a father to leave his children."

May each of us, should we find ourselves in a situation such as Todd, Tom, Jeremy and others found themselves on that ill-fated flight, take the necessary action.  When provided with the opportunity to take action that will save the lives of others, may we too choose to be heroes...just normal folks in abnormal situations with the courage to act when necessary.  Heroes are such people.

David Ray Smith, September 29, 2001

"Let's Roll!"

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