Let's Roll - The Todd Beamer Story
"I don't think we're going to get out of this thing. I'm going to have to go out on faith."
It was the voice of Todd Beamer, the passenger-- and Wheaton College graduate -- who said "Let'sroll" as he led the charge against the terrorists whohad hijacked United Flight 93, the one, you willremember, that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside.
The whole world knows how brave Beamer and hisfellow passengers were on September 11. But this week we learned more fully what buttressed that bravery - faith in Jesus Christ. Todd died as he lived, afaithful evangelical believer.
In an article titled "The Real Story of Flight 93," Newsweek reveals gripping new details from theactual transcripts of the now-recovered cockpit voicerecorder. "Todd had been afraid," Newsweek relates."More than once, he cried out for his Savior."
After passengers were herded to the back of the jet, Beamer called the GTE Customer Center. He told supervisor Lisa Jefferson about the hijacking. The passengers were planning to jump the terrorists, he said. And then he asked her to pray with him.
As Newsweek relates, "Beamer kept a Lord'sPrayer bookmark in his Tom Clancy novel, but he didn't need any prompting. He began to recite the ancient litany, and Jefferson joined him: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name."
As they finished, Beamer added, "Jesus, help me." And then, Beamer and his fellow passengers prayed a prayer that has comforted millions down through thecenturies -- the prayer that David wrote in a time ofgreat anguish: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall notwant . . . Yea, though I walk through the valley ofthe shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
And then the famous last words: "Are you guys ready? Let's roll."
We now know from the cockpit voice recorder thatBeamer and other passengers wrestled with the hijackers and forced the plane to crash into the ground, killing themselves but foiling what was believed to have been the hijackers' plan to fly Flight 93 into the Capitol or the White House.
As Christians, we know that God can bring good out of evil. In Todd Beamer, the world witnesses a faith that held up in the extremity of fear. A faith that is even now comforting his widow and two young sons.
It wasn't Todd Beamer's job to fight terrorists. He was just a passenger who along with several others did what he didn't have to do but foiled a terrible evil that might have been done to his country.
As Flight 93 hurtled towards destruction, Todd Beamer could not have known that his quiet prayerswould ultimately be heard by millions - that the story of his last acts on earth would be a witness to the Lord he loved and served and a lasting example of true heroism.
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