September 10, 2011

Positivity: Todd ‘Let’s Roll’ Beamer

Filed under: National Security,Positivity — Tom @ 10:00 pm

ToddBeamer911HeroA description of Beamer’s heroics and the story of Flight 93:

Todd M. Beamer
32 years old
Cranbury, New Jersey

Todd Beamer, who resided in Cranbury, New Jersey, was an account manager for the Oracle Corporation. He died at age 32 in the September 11, 2001 attacks on board United Airlines Flight 93. He is survived by his wife, Lisa Beamer, two sons, David and Drew, and a daughter, Morgan Kay, who was born on January 9, 2002 . nearly four months after her father’s death.

Todd and other passengers had been in communication with people via in-plane and cell phones and learned that the World Trade Center had been attacked using hijacked airplanes. Beamer tried to place a credit card call through a phone located on the back of a plane seat but was routed to a customer-service representative instead, who passed him on to supervisor Lisa Jefferson. Beamer reported that one passenger was 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 was also on the phone when the plane made its turn in a southeasterly direction, a move that had him briefly panicking. Later, he told the operator that some of the plane’s passengers were planning “jump on” the hijackers. According to Jefferson, Beamer’s last audible words were “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” This term would later become the war cry for those fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Though it was a widely-held belief that the passengers crashed the airliner in an attempt to save the lives of others on the ground, the 9/11 Commission’s findings (based on the “black box” cockpit recording) were that the passengers on Flight 93 did not cause the plane to crash intentionally. They burst into the cockpit and fought with the terrorists over the controls for the plane. …

A portrayal at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on October 28, 2001:

As an adolescent, Todd Beamer defined himself by athletics. He excelled at Wheaton, Ill., Christian High School in baseball, basketball and soccer. And when his family moved to California before his senior year, Beamer used sports to make new friends. He also made the honor society.

He attended Fresno State University to play baseball, with an eye toward a professional career, but he soon realized that was not in his future. He returned home to Illinois to attend Wheaton College, a coed Christian school just northwest of Chicago. It was there, during a senior seminar class, that he first met his future wife.

Lisa Beamer knew who Todd was — a jock. But, she told her roommate, “sometimes people aren’t what you think they are.”

Their first date was Nov. 2, 1991; they had planned to mark the 10th anniversary of that date this year.

After he earned a master’s in business administration from DePaul University in Chicago, the couple married in 1994 and moved to Princeton, N.J., where Beamer began his career with Oracle Corp. selling systems applications and database software.

The couple taught the senior high school Sunday school class at Princeton Alliance Church for six years, and Beamer was a stalwart on the church softball team. He did not shy away from bowling over another player if it meant winning.

Last year, the couple moved to Cranbury, N.J., 15 miles from Trenton, and Beamer made sure the game room was a shrine to his beloved Chicago Cubs, Bulls and Bears. The furnishings included a Cubs pinball game.

Their two sons, ages 4 and 2, competed with each other to meet their dad first when he came home from work. Beamer often pulled into the driveway and let the boys climb inside with him to “drive” into the garage.

Steyn on 9/11′s 10th Anniversary: ‘Let’s Roll’ Is Now ‘Let’s Roll Over’

Filed under: National Security,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:20 am

Mark Steyn’s latest column appropriately expresses utter exasperation:

Waiting to be interviewed on the radio the other day, I found myself on hold listening to a public service message exhorting listeners to go to and tell their fellow citizens how they would be observing the 10th anniversary of the, ah, “tragic events.”

What’s missing from these commemorations? Firemen? Oh, please. There are some pieces of the puzzle we have to leave out.

As Mayor Bloomberg’s office has patiently explained, there’s “not enough room” at the official Ground Zero commemoration to accommodate any firemen. “Which is kind of weird,” wrote the Canadian blogger Kathy Shaidle, “since 343 of them managed to fit into the exact same space 10 years ago.”

On a day when all the fancypants money-no-object federal acronyms comprehensively failed — CIA, FBI, FAA, INS — the only bit of government that worked was the low-level unglamorous municipal government represented by the Fire Department of New York.

… What else is missing from these commemorations? “Let’s Roll”? What’s that — a quilting technique?

What of the 23rd Psalm? It was recited by Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer and the telephone operator Lisa Jefferson in the final moments of his life before he cried “Let’s roll!” and rushed the hijackers.

No, sorry. Aside from firemen, Mayor Bloomberg’s official commemoration hasn’t got any room for clergy, either, what with all Executive Deputy Assistant Directors of Healing and Outreach who’ll be there.

… (On Flight 93) A few brave individuals figured out what was going on and pushed back within half-an-hour. But we can’t memorialize their sacrifice within a decade. And when the architect gets the memorial brief, he naturally assumes there’s been a typing error and that “Let’s roll!” should really be “Let’s roll over!”

And so we commemorate an act of war as a “tragic event,” and we retreat to equivocation, cultural self-loathing and utterly fraudulent misrepresentation about the events of the day.

Diana West’s column on the anniversary yesterday is sad but true:

… our central institutions have … implemented the central codes of Islam in the years since the 9/11 attacks, exactly as the jihadists hoped and schemed.

… The air has cleared, but the appeasement and the Islamization go on. Thus, a golden age begins, but unless we throw off this mental yoke of submission, it cannot be our own.

Purged of firemen, purged of clergy — but not purged of dhimmitude.

Positivity: Pennsylvania Catholics’ work of mercy ends with Flight 93 burial

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Shanksville, Pennsylvania:

Sep 9, 2011 / 06:02 am

When the last remains from United Flight 93 are buried on Sept. 12, two parishioners of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania will finish the work of mercy they started 10 years before, helping family members bury the dead.

The last, unidentified remains of the flight’s passengers “have been stored together for the last 10 years in a location that’s under the coroner’s control,” said Somerset County Solicitor Daniel Rullo.

Those remains, Rullo told CNA, “will be interred on September 12, in a ceremony that the coroner’s intending to hold. It’s essentially a funeral ceremony that will take place. There are three caskets of these remains that will be buried at the crash site.”

Rullo, a lawyer who served as head of his parish council for many years, worked closely with County Coroner Wallace Miller – a Catholic convert and his fellow parishioner – to help victims’ families obtain the identified remains of the loved ones they lost on the hijacked flight. A total of 44 people, including the flight crew and the terrorist hijackers, died when the plane crashed into a field.