He wasn’t born in New Jersey, but he was a Garden State resident when he took off in the ill-fated United flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. He was born on Nov. 24, 1968 in Flint, Michigan, but moved to New Jersey in 1994. By 2001, he was living in Cranbury with his wife and two sons, according to the Facebook page, “Today in New Jersey History.” He was flying from Newark to San Francisco for Oracle, his employer on United’s 757.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, after the hijackers took over control of the plane he used a phone on the plane to call for help; he was on the line with a GTE supervisor when he said he and some other passengers were going to storm the cockpit. That’s when his famous “Let’s roll!” line was delivered before the phone went dead. Those are believed to be his last words.

As we now know, he was successful in wresting control of the plane from the hijackers and forcing the aircraft down in a field near Shanksville, PA. The hijackers had turned the plane around and were heading toward Washington, DC when Beamer made his heroic act, saving countless lives. Though 9/11 was a tragedy, there are also stories of heroes, like Todd Beamer.

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