By Rachel McCrary, James Paxson
FLINT, Michigan (WNEM) — The father of a man born in mid-Michigan who lost his life attempting to stop terrorists on 9/11 from taking over their plane before crashing into a Pennsylvania field is remembering what his son and other passengers did to save countless lives.
Todd Beamer was born in Flint and raised in Flushing until he was 6. He coined a famous phrase during the 9/11 attacks, uttered with bravery in the face of darkness on a doomed airplane.
“Are you guys ready, let’s roll,” said David Beamer, quoting his son.
Twenty years later, Todd’s father remembers what his son and other passengers did to save countless others.
“Time does fly by. Todd was a great guy. He was a wonderful son, a wonderful husband, father,” David said.
Todd was on Flight 93 when passengers were made aware the plane had been hijacked by terrorists, one with a bomb strapped around his waist. David said his son was just 32-years-old at the time and had a great life and promising future.
“I treasure the memories of Todd, Lisa and their little boys. Who were 3-and-a-half and 1-and-a-half, and Lisa was pregnant at the time,” David said.
During the same time, two airplanes that morning had already crashed into the World Trade Center towers in New York. It’s believed the plane Todd was on was headed to the White House or the U.S. Capitol.
David said 39 passengers, including Todd, decided to act and take back the plane. Right before the encounter, Todd said a prayer and that courageous phrase, “Are you ready, let’s roll.”
“So, let’s roll was a signal, a call to action. And what they did, all of them, on Flight 93, they launched our first successful counterattack in this war,” David said.
Successful in that it ended up crashing in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. While all lives were lost, if it had made it 20 more minutes, David believes it could have killed countless others.
This 9/11, David will be going somewhere for the first time on that day since the attack. He is visiting the Spirit of America 9/11 Memorial in Cashmere, Washington.
“These people are honoring and remembering. Celebrating lives going forward. I thought this is kind of a special place, special people,” David said.
There isn’t a day that goes by that David doesn’t think about his son and the heroic acts of those on the plane.
“We’re on the verge of not only forgetting what happened and what people did in the days after, but we’re forgetting about the enemy. And I can assure you that they are planning right now to find a way to give us another wake-up call. I hope we’re awake before we get it,” David said.
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