by Winnie Kay
An ordinary day in the life of a traveler
Lost in a maze of travelers and gift shops, he spotted a porter and paused long enough to inquire between gasps, “Gate A17... Quick... Which way?” The tired skycap silently pointed straight ahead, and the accountant resumed his race.
He slid into the proper boarding area with two minutes to spare, handed over his ticket to the smiling attendant, and walked down the ramp to the metal doors. As he entered the muffled atmosphere and shuffled through the narrow aisle to his seat, he nodded politely to his fellow passengers. Not all his salutations were reciprocated.
He removed a book of corporate data from his carry-on and stuffed the bag under the seat in front of him. Commanding his pounding heart to ease it’s pistons, he closed his eyes and prepared his mind for the 2001 budget meeting.
A pleasant voice echoed through the speakers. “Good morning. This is Jason Dahl, your captain, speaking. There will be a short delay as the traffic on the runway clears. Once underway, we should be landing at San Francisco International in approximately six and a half hours. Thank you for choosing United Airlines. The crew of Flight 93 wishes you a pleasant journey.”
The steady hum of the 747’s engines lulled him into a restful state as his mind drifted back to Lisa’s parting words. “Call me when you’re in the air.” She had kissed him lightly on the cheek.
"I will, Hon," he had answered as he rushed out the door. "I gotta roll."
Todd Beamer buttoned his jacket and leaned back in his seat. It was chilly for September 11th.
Fragment of United Airlines Flight 93
found in a field in Pennsylvania
>>>October 2, 2001 The Seattle Times<<<
Todd Beamer, 32, an account manager for Oracle, called a stranger. He picked up a seat-back phone and hit "0," and at 9:45 a.m., he was connected first to a dispatcher for GTE Airfone, and then to Lisa Jefferson, the operator's supervisor. For 13 minutes, Beamer told Jefferson everything he could, passing along information he gleaned himself and from a flight attendant. The passengers remained in their seats, she said he told her, and the flight attendants were forced to sit in the back of the plane. He told her how much he loved his pregnant wife and two sons, and he asked her to call them. He asked her to recite the Lord's Prayer and 23rd Psalm with him. Moments later, Beamer told Jefferson about the plan, that the passengers were going to run up the long, narrow aisle to the first-class cabin and attack the hijacker there. "I'm going to have to go out on faith," Beamer said. He turned to someone else, and he said, "Are you ready?" Then, in the last words Jefferson would hear from him, "OK. Let's roll."