Todd Beamer, 32, was on his way to a business meeting in San Francisco when he boarded a United Airlines flight at Newark Airport in New Jersey on September 11, 2001.
He was due back later that evening to return home to his pregnant wife Lisa and their two young boys Drew and David.
Mr. Beamer worked for an IT company, selling their software. The terrorists took control of the plane after 46 minutes of flight. “We have a bomb on board, so sit down,” they announced to the cabin.
The plane’s destination has been changed to Washington, DC.
As some passengers were able to call family and friends, travelers learned that the World Trade Center was hit by two planes and another struck the Pentagon in Virginia.
Mr. Beamer and the other passengers soon realized they were in the fourth plane in this biggest attack on the United States.
While attempting to make a call, he was put in touch with Lisa Jefferson, a United Airlines in-flight telephone service call center supervisor. They spoke for 13 minutes.
They recited the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 as other passengers joined them. Remaining calm throughout the call, Mr. Beamer’s voice grew a bit higher as the plane began to dive.
“Lisa, Lisa! ” he said.
“I’m still here, Todd,” she replied. “I’ll be there as long as you.” “
Mr Beamer and a group of passengers and flight attendants gathered and voted to attempt to storm the cockpit.
“If I can’t do it, please call my family and let them know how much I love them,” he told Ms. Jefferson.
“Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll,” she heard him say to the others. That was the last thing she heard Mr. Beamer say.
Flight UA93 never reached DC. It is believed that the intended target was the United States Capitol or the White House. Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the plane to be shot down.
The plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Everyone on the plane is dead. Mr Beamer’s widow, Lisa Brosious Beamer, gave birth to a daughter four months later, in January 2002.
Mr. Beamer was born in 1968 in Flint, Michigan. He had two sisters, one older and one younger. His father worked as a salesperson at IBM. He went to Wheaton Academy and Wheaton College. He was good at sports, but his hopes for a professional baseball career were dashed by a car accident.
He met his wife in Wheaton in 1991 and they married in 1994. They were active in their church, teaching Sunday school together and Mr. Beamer playing softball for the church team.
The couple returned from a trip to Italy on September 10, 2001, a vacation granted to Mr. Beamer from his company.
Doug Macmillan, a friend of Mr. Beamer, quit his job to run the Todd Beamer Foundation, which helps children who lost their parents on this flight.
After September 11, Lisa Beamer became the face of mourners and a reminder of the heroism of the day. Mr Besmer was a former college baseball and basketball player and allegedly led other passengers in an attack on the Flight 93 hijackers that brought down the plane before it crashed in Washington, DC. His exhortation “Let’s roll! has become a rallying cry. His widow made 200 public appearances in the six months following the attacks.
Ms. Beamer has co-authored a book, Let’s roll! Ordinary people, extraordinary courage.
The couple’s three children all attended Wheaton College. All are athletes, like their father: Dave, three years old when his father died, was a football quarterback; Drew, who had one, played soccer, as did their daughter Morgan. Morgan was the middle name of his Mr Beamer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
The Independent Gt