Via a 10th September 2021 speech at Wheaton College, Lisa Beamer retold the tale of her husband’s heroism during 9/11. Todd Beamer boarded United Airlines Flight 93 from New Jersey to San Francisco. However, hijackers rerouted the flight’s destination to Washington DC, where, presumably, they planned to crash it into a civilian or government target.
However, thanks to Todd’s swift action, the flight never got to DC and instead crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, killing all 40 people on board. The death toll would have likely been higher had the hijackers been successful. Lisa became the face of heroism following Todd’s courage as she made over 200 media appearances in the six months following the attacks.
She continues to speak of her husband’s heroism in churches and schools
Todd Beamer’s story provided America with a bit of joy during a dark time for the nation. Todd Beamer didn’t call his family as other passengers did.
He called Airfone and was connected to operator Lisa Jefferson, who described Todd’s surprisingly calm demeanor. Before Todd and other passengers stormed the cockpit, he told Lisa to call his family and inform them of the immense love he had for them.
“His voice was devoid of any stress,” Jefferson said. “In fact, he sounded so tranquil it made me begin to doubt the authenticity and urgency of his call.” In her speech, Lisa Beamer said that Todd’s Christian belief kept him calm in the face of adversity. She explained:
‘I answered those questions the only way that rang true to me: Because Todd loved his life, but he knew that his life was much more than his 32 years on this Earth. His soul was secure even when his body wasn’t because Jesus was his savior.”
“Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll,” were the last words Lisa Jefferson heard from Beamer. Todd often used the expression as the family went out for outings. It inspired the title of a book Lisa co-wrote: Let’s Roll! Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage.
Lisa and Todd’s Friend Doug Macmillan founded the Todd Beamer Memorial Foundation to help children who lost their parents during 9/11. The foundation later rebranded to Heroic Choices as financial struggles threatened its operations.
“As with any charity created after 9/11, the farther you get away from the event, the more difficult it is to raise funds,” the organization’s board chair, William Beatty, told NonProfit Times.
Despite Lisa’s best efforts, including diverting her book sales to the organization, Heroic Choices eventually dissolved.
Lisa Beamer has raised the couple’s children into responsible adults
At the time of his passing, Todd left behind a pregnant Lisa and the couple’s two sons, Drew and David. Lisa welcomed the couple’s daughter Morgan Kay Beamer in January 2002. Lisa faced a massive challenge raising two young boys and a toddler. Dough MacMillan told The Baltimore Sun:
“The real reality of it won’t set in until she’s at home and having to go through late-night feedings and diaper changings by herself. It’s going to be a difficult time for her, but Lisa has the grace and the strength to get through this.”
Lisa rose to the challenge and has raised the children to be responsible adults. “Lisa has done a terrific job as a single mom raising them to be the kind of people that they are and they will be,” Todd’s father, David, told The Daily Herald.
Drew, David, and Morgan have grown up knowing that their dad is a hero. Lisa Beamer said:
“Some people live their whole lives, long lives, without having left anything behind. My sons will be told their whole lives that their father was a hero, that he saved lives. It’s a great legacy for a father to leave his children.”