Who was Todd Beamer?
Todd Beamer was one of the many heroes of Sept. 11, 2001. Beamer was a passenger on United Flight 93 when it was hijacked and famously said, “Let’s roll,” in a phone call audio recording. He was 32.
United Flight 93 was the only hijacked plane on 9/11 that did not reach its intended target, which officials believe was the U.S. Capitol or another target in Washington DC.
The crew and passengers on Flight 93 made phone calls to their families to say goodbye and learned that hijacked planes were being used as weapons to commit deadly acts of terrorism. Beamer and other passengers decided to take over the flight, which crashed at high speed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Among those passengers was Beamer, who tried to call his pregnant wife to tell her he loved her. They were unable to connect, and Beamer relayed his message to Operator Lisa Jefferson, who reflected on the call with CBS News.
What Happened to Todd Beamer on Flight 93?
As some passengers were able to call family and friends, it became known to the travelers that the World Trade Center had been hit by two planes and that another one had struck the Pentagon in Virginia.
Beamer called Airfone operator Lisa Jefferson and was able to describe the plane’s direction and the timeline of events.
Jefferson and Beamer recited the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 as other passengers joined in.
Remaining calm throughout the call, Beamer’s voice became slightly higher as the plane started to dive.
“Lisa, Lisa!” he said.
“I’m still here, Todd,” Jefferson answered. “I’ll be here as long as you are.”
Beamer and a group of passengers and flight attendants huddled and voted to try to storm the cockpit.
“If I don’t make it, please call my family and let them know how much I love them,” he told Jefferson.
“Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll,” she heard Beamer tell the others.
Jefferson said that was the last thing she heard Beamer say.
“His voice was devoid of any stress,” Jefferson later said. “In fact, he sounded so tranquil it made me begin to doubt the authenticity and urgency of his call.”
Flight 93 never reached the nation’s capital.
Twenty years later, the objective of the hijackers aboard Flight 93 remains 9/11’s greatest mystery.