#September11: “Let’s Roll”

#September11: “Let’s Roll”

#September11: “Let’s Roll”

In an instant, on that September 11th clear sky blue day at 8:46 AM everything changed. We all know where we were, what we were doing, and who we were talking to.


We remember the stunned disbelief, the tears, the rage, the heroism, the acts of kindness, and the RESOLVE exhibited that day and in the days to come.


For me, so many things from 9/11 have impacted me and given me my own brand of American Resolve. None more so than a single two word sentence spoken by a group of exceptional Americans on Flight 93.

“Let’s Roll”

On that day Tom Burnett, senior VP and COO of Thoratec Corporation was headed home to his wife Deanna. His calls to her show his and the others resolve in forming a plan to thwart the terrorists plan of attack. Mark Bingham, a successful public relations executive, and a cutthroat rugby player who never politicized nor advertised that he was gay, rushed onto the plane at the last minute. Little did he know, he’d play a key role in saving countless American lives.

7bce1ab65155781e0ae602f1f3172178After the plane had been hijacked, Jeremy Glick,


a 6’1 judo champion called his wife Lyz, who managed to set the call on a three-way with the police.

“He said: `Lyz, I need to know something. One of the other passengers has talked to their spouse and he has said they were crashing planes into the World Trade Centre. Is that true?’ ”
Mrs Glick hesitated. “You need to be strong,” she replied, “but, yes, they are doing that. He knew something very bad was going to happen. Were they going to blow the plane up, or was it going to crash into something else, he wanted to know, because that made all the difference.”

Flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw called her husband Phil for advice and to tell him what was happening. She wanted to know if he had any other ideas of how to stop the terrorists besides throwing hot water on them. Understandably he was stunned and caught off guard, but I can only imagine her resolve and determination as she rushed forward carrying a pot of boiling water at the ready so as to inflict as much damage as possible on those who dare attack her, the crew, the passengers she was responsible for, and America.

Todd Beamer, a 32 year old account manager, not wanting to worry his pregnant wife (Lisa) and 2 children (David and Andrew), called an operator with Verizon.

toddbeamerAs the FBI listened in; Lisa Jefferson, the Verizon supervisor, recalls that they talked about his family and recited the Lord’s Prayer with other passengers joining in. Todd was, as were all the others, terrified of what was happening. Yet he and the others banded together. With their actions and their resolve, they epitomized the last words Todd uttered:

“Lets Roll”

26 calls were made from the in-flight phones to loved ones, 911 operators and more. Scared out of their minds and angry. Angry that terrorists had taken over their plane. Angry that terrorists had already killed Americans by driving other planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Full of anger and resolve, they banded together. They planned to rush the terrorists and take them down so that no other Americans would die. Each American on that plane knew they would probably die, but they did it anyway. They – Exceptional Americans all looked at each other and with strong unshakeable resolve said:

“Let’s Roll”

On that clear blue sky 9/11 day, Flight 93 crashed into that Shanksille PA field. 40 Americans fought back for themselves and America and gave their lives.


The lives they saved cannot be measured.

This country, this Republic, and each individual American has and will face times of adversity that may be large, small and at times seemingly insurmountable. However, let us Never Forget and always give Thanks for those 40 exceptional Americans including Tom Burnett, Jeremy Glick, Mark Bingham, Todd Beamer, and Sandra Bradshaw. The example they set is one worth remembering and following.

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  • Johnny says:

    From a radio broadcast I did last year:

    “On this day, September 11th, thirteen years ago, our country was attacked by low men.
    Men – because to call such bipedal vermin animals insults animals. Other species kill from instinct. Even a rabid dog’s behavior is caused by madness, not malice. Man is the only creature that kills for politics, for religion, for power, for greed, for vengeance, for spite…and for evil.
    Low men (with apologies to Stephen King), because by any measure civilized society uses to gauge humanity, these nineteen fell woefully short. They hide their evil behind a mask of religion the way the Nazis hid theirs behind a mask of government. They “fought” by attacking the unwary, preying upon the innocent. But there is no honor in a blindsiding, no glory in a sucker-punch.
    Enough about them – theirs are nineteen stories of evil incarnate, monotonously similar, equally vacuous and ultimately signifying nothing. More important are the three thousand tragic stories of lives cut short, as well as the thousands upon thousands of stories of bravery, compassion, heroism, selflessness and courage associated with that day.
    For instance, the story of forty randomly-selected, typical Americans, untrained and unarmed, each of whom woke that morning, committed simply to getting on a plane and flying from Newark to San Francisco. Instead they found themselves faced with four low men, trained, armed, each of whom woke that morning committed to dying. Did I say they were unarmed? Actually, those forty Americans possessed one weapon that no one else that morning had – knowledge. Because their flight had been delayed, they heard what happened in New York, and armed with that tiny advantage, they took action. We will probably never know for certain the real target of United Flight 93 (my money’s on the White House, but the Capital Building would be easier to hit), but we can be assured that the target was not an empty field in western Pennsylvania. Those Americans, those heroes, at the cost of their own lives, defeated the low men and saved God only knows how many other Americans’ lives. ”

    Good article Nina.
    Let’s never forget.

    • Nina says:

      Johnny, thank you for your kind words. Indeed, we cannot afford to forget. 😉

      Thank you very much for sharing your radio commentary with us.

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