David L. Beamer is a broken man. On 9/11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists robbed him of his son, Todd Morgan Beamer. They hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, and Todd and other passengers are believed to have crashed it into the ground in Shanksville, PA, thwarting a planned attack on either the Pentagon or the White House. All 44 people on board, including the four hijackers, died.
How is David doing 10 years after the attack? Now living in Jacksonville Beach, FL, he says his faith in God has helped him live with the crippling loss, and he takes comfort in the knowledge that Todd was a Christian.
When asked if the country has made progress against the war on terror, David said Americans must realize that the fundamentalist Islamic threat is real and ongoing.
"The same enemy, radical Islam, has been attacking Americans for decades," David noted, adding that his son and the 38 other passengers on the plane became soldiers the morning of 9/11 when they fought back against the terrorists.
Todd was one of many passengers on the plane who tried to alert authorities on the ground of the plane's hijacking and its possible use as a weapon against the Pentagon or White House. Through a conversation with GTE supervisor Lisa Jefferson, Todd learned that the World Trade Center had been attacked by terrorists using hijacked airplanes.
Todd reported that one passenger had been killed and, later, that a flight attendant had told him the pilot and co-pilot had been forced from the cockpit and may have been wounded.
He told Jefferson that some of the plane's passengers planned to "jump on" the hijackers and fly the plane into the ground before the hijackers' plan could be followed through. Beamer also recited The Lord's Prayer with Jefferson.
According to Jefferson, Todd's last audible words were, "Are you guys ready? Let's roll."
"We can ill afford to be in denial about this enemy's objective or its tactics of using political correctness, accusations of bigotry, infiltration and deceit to rob us of our liberty," David said. "The enemy is diligently working to transform our republic into an Islamic state, one that is absolutely incompatible with our Constitution, liberties, rule of law and culture as we have known it."
Todd graduated from Los Gatos High School in 1987. He would have turned 43 on Nov. 24.
He attended Wheaton Academy, DePaul University, California State University, Fresno, and Wheaton College. He was an account manager for Oracle and lived in Cranbury, NJ, with his wife, Lisa Beamer, and two sons, David and Drew.
A deeply spiritual man who attended church with his family every Sunday, his third child was born after his death in January 2002.
In Los Gatos, the Morning Rotary Club has set up a scholarship in his name, and back East, a post office and high school bear his name.
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