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Todd Beamer: An American Hero Who Was Wired to Serve

When we say that we are “wired to serve”, it means that we are excited to help the people of West Michigan. Todd Beamer truly understood what it meant to be “wired to serve.” We may never be American heroes like Todd Beamer, but his story (and many others) inspires us to help others and improve lives. We will do what we can for the greater good of our community.

These were the last words of Todd Beamer, an American hero, who decided to burst into a plane cockpit and fight al-Qaeda terrorists for the controls to the plane likely heading toward the U.S. Capitol on 9/11.

The Story of Todd Beamer

Growing up, Todd Beamer had hopes of becoming a professional baseball player.

Throughout his education, Beamer played baseball and other sports while he and his family moved to different parts of the country. He also played baseball in college at Fresno State University, hoping that this trail would lead him towards accomplishing his dreams of being a professional baseball player.

Unfortunately, life had different plans for Beamer. Beamer and his friends survived a car crash with a few injuries, which dashed his dreams of going pro. So, he redirected his plans. Beamer decided to move and transfer to Wheaton College in Illinois, where he met his future wife. They got married after three years and Beamer picked up an MBA from DePaul University. He and his wife, Lisa, moved to New Jersey, where they both found jobs with the Oracle Corporation.

In 2001, Todd and Lisa had been raising their two sons with a daughter on the way. They had just returned to New Jersey from a vacation to Italy, and Todd had to get on a plane the next day to San Francisco for a business meeting.

The morning of September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer arrived at Newark International Airport. Due to the presence of heavy air traffic and a busy tarmac, his flight was delayed. 42 minutes later, Flight 93 took off with 37 passengers and 7 crew members onboard, including 4 plane hijackers.

At 9:28 AM, the four plane hijackers of Flight 93 entered the cockpit and fought the pilot and first captain of the plane. The hijackers then seized control of the plane and ordered all of the passengers to sit down. While the hijackers began to reroute the plane, the passengers and crew began to search for a solution. They quickly found out that two other planes had been hijacked and crashed into important U.S. government buildings, and their plane was likely going to be doing the same. Todd Beamer, like many passengers onboard, began making phone calls. He was able to connect with GTE Airfone operators and explained the problem and the only solution they had come up with.

Todd explained that he and some of the other passengers were going to fight back against the hijackers, and that the flight attendants were going to throw pitchers of boiling water and heavy objects into the cockpit at the hijackers. The last thing that the GTE operator heard was “Are you ready? Okay, let’s roll.”

At 9:57 AM, the passengers started fighting against the hijackers.

At 10:03 AM in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Flight 93 crashed into a field, killing everyone on board.

Todd Beamer and his fellow passengers made the decision to take the plane back from the hijackers knowing what the worst case scenario was going to be. They knew that they probably were not going to make it out of Flight 93 alive, but they had the option to save the lives of countless others. The actions of Todd Beamer and the passengers and crew of Flight 93 show an unimaginable level of bravery and selflessness.

How to Support the Victims and Heroes of 9/11

Many lives were lost on 9/11, leaving behind spouses, siblings, and children suffering from grief and financial setbacks. To help, we encourage readers to give to the Families of Freedom Fund, which gives scholarships to the children whose parents were taken on 9/11. If you are not in a position to donate, we ask that you remember to serve those around you however you can.

Interested in learning more about Butler Electric Service and our commitment to being Wired to Serve? Get in touch with our team here.


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