For those who lived through Sept. 11, 2001, the drama of Todd Beamer and the heroes of Flight 93 has become an essential part of many anniversary rites.
Everyone remembers the final act, with Beamer aboard the hijacked plane, patched through to a telephone operator for a clandestine13-minute call. After learning about the World Trade Center attacks, Beamer and other passengers decided to try to seize control of the plane.
Finally, Beamer said: “Let’s roll.” That was the end of the call, moments before the plane – now believed to have been headed to the U.S. Capitol – crashed into a rural field near Shanksville, Pa.
That wasn’t the whole story, of course. The young software salesman had also asked operator Lisa Jefferson if he could be connected to his wife, Lisa Beamer, and, if not, he shared a final message to her and their two sons.