Todd Beamer, 32, was attending 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 set to fly to the home of his pregnant wife Lisa and their two young boys, Drew and David, later that evening.
Mr. Beamer was working for a computer company, selling their software. The terrorists took control of the plan within 46 minutes of the flight. “We have a bomb on the ship, so sit down,” he announced to the cabin.
The destination for the aircraft was changed to Washington, DC.
As some passengers were able to call family and friends, it became known to the passengers that two planes had hit the World Trade Center and another had hit the Pentagon in Virginia.
Mr. Beamer and the other passengers soon realized that they were part of the fourth plane of that major attack on America.
As he attempted to call, he was connected to Lisa Jefferson, the call center supervisor for United Airlines in-flight phone service. They talked for 13 minutes.
He recited the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 as other travelers joined. Remained calm throughout the call, Mr. Beamer’s voice got a little louder as the plane began to dive.
“Lisa, Lisa!” he said.
“I’m still here, Toad,” she replied. “I’ll be here as long as you are.”
Mr Beamer and a group of passengers and flight attendants voted to try to break into the cockpit.
“If I can’t do that, please call my family and tell them how much I love them,” he told Ms. Jefferson.
“Are you ready? Okay, let’s get rolling,” he overheard her telling the others. That was the last thing he had heard Mr Beamer say.
Flight UA93 never reached DC. It is believed that the intended target was the US Capitol or the White House. Vice President Dick Cheney ordered that the plane be shot down.
The plane crashed on a farm in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Everyone on board the plane died. Mr. Beamer’s widow Lisa Brosius Beamer gave birth to a girl four months later in January 2002.
Mr Beamer was born in 1968 in Flint, Michigan. He had two sisters, one elder and one younger. His father worked as a salesman in IBM. He went to Wheaton Academy and Wheaton College. He was good at sports but his hopes of a professional baseball career were dashed by a car accident.
He met his wife at Wheaton in 1991 and they married in 1994. They were active in their church, taught Sunday school together, and Mr. Beamer played softball for the church’s team.
The couple returned from a trip to Italy on 10 September 2001 on leave given to Mr Beamer from his company.
Doug McMillan, a friend of Mr Beamer’s, quits his job to run the Todd Beamer Foundation, which helps children who lost their parents on that flight.
After 9/11, Lisa Beamer became the face of the day’s mourners and serves as a reminder of the day’s heroism. Mr. Besmer was a former college baseball and basketball player and is believed to have led the other passengers in an attack on the hijackers of Flight 93, which brought the plane down before crashing in Washington, DC. “Come on down!” His remarks became a rallying cry. His widow made 200 public appearances in the six months following the attacks.
Ms. Beamer 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 fathers: Dave, a football quarterback when his father died when he was three years old; Drew, who was one, played football, as does his daughter, Morgan. Morgan was her middle name for Mr. Beamer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /