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Todd Beamer was 32 when he died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack onboard United Airlines Flight 93. He left behind a wife, two sons and a daughter who was born nearly four months after her father’s death.

Todd and other passengers had been in touch with people by cell phones and learned that the World Trade Center had been attacked by hijacked airplanes. Beamer tried to place a credit card call by a phone on the back of a plane seat, but reached a customer service representative instead. She passed him on to supervisor Lisa Jefferson.

He told her that one passenger was killed. A flight attendant told him that the pilot and co-pilot had been forced from the cockpit and were probably wounded. He later told Jefferson that some of the plane’s passengers were planning to jump the hijackers.

Jefferson related that Beamer’s last words were, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!” His words later became the war cry in Afghanistan for the troops fighting Al Qaeda. They were also words that he had used in his life. His sons knew when Dad said, “Let’s roll,” they had better be heading out the door.

I just finished reading Lisa Beamer’s biography, “Let’s Roll,” for the second time. She relied on her faith in God to help her through a terrible experience that would cause others to despise the terrorists and look for vengeance. Too many of us will remember how we have been hurt and never forgive what has happened in the past, but Lisa Beamer uses this tragedy as a way to move forward. This book teaches us to always move on, but never forget the past.

One of our associates at the Chronicle always reminds us, “We can’t know where we are going, if we don’t know where we have been.”

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