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Real Answers™
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Copyright: © 2007 Greg Asimakoupoulos
700 words

REMEMBERING A 9/11 HERO

By: Greg Asimakoupoulos

This month marks the sixth anniversary of that tragic Tuesday we simply refer to as 9/11. It’s a day that lives in infamy associated with such phrases as Ground Zero, War on Terror and “Let’s Roll.” Ironically, this month September 11 also lands on a Tuesday.

Shortly after the heartbreaking cost of September 11th was accounted for, I became friends with the parents of Todd Beamer. As you recall, Todd was the young businessman on United # 93 credited with rallying his fellow passenger in resisting the hijackers with “let’s roll.”

In the years that have followed, David and Peggy Beamer have shared with me values and choices that characterized their home life that resulted in raising a son who would become a modern-day hero.

Todd Beamer was the second of three children born to the Beamers. He was David and Peggy’s only son. Although they had no idea his life would be limited to the number of years Jesus walked the earth, Todd’s decision to take his cues from the Lord did not come as a surprise to his parents. They worked hard at providing him a spiritual foundation.

"We raised Todd to love the Lord," David told me confidently. "Passing the baton of faith was a priority in our home. Both my folks and my wife’s folks are committed Christians. That’s a legacy we didn’t take lightly."

David, an executive with Legato Systems, a computer software company, also acknowledged that his career required much time away from home. But he was determined to provide Todd with a positive role model. In the midst of his busy schedule, David made time to be at most of Todd’s football, basketball and baseball games.

"As far as I’m concerned," David observes, "if a dad is determined to equip his kids with spiritual values that will shape their adult choices, he needs to be there when they need him."

Todd’s dad gives his stay-at-home wife, Peggy, most of the credit for instilling in his son and daughters, Melissa and Michele, a love for the Lord.

"My wife really took the advice of Proverbs 22:6 to heart," David confided to me. " ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it’ was more than a familiar verse. It was a family motto. When Todd was younger, there were times he wasn’t all that excited about going to church, but his mother let him know he didn’t have a choice."

Together David and Peggy took care to provide a home where the Bible was read and weekly worship was a priority. The children were given the opportunity to go to Christian schools through college. But David would be the first to admit that their success in raising a son who has become a contemporary Christian hero extended beyond their own influence.

"Todd was blessed with a number of positive role models outside his immediate family," David shared with me. "Men and women at school, Christian educators, youth pastors and ministers who supported him with their lifestyle and their life’s work. But key to his spiritual development were four loving Christian grandparents who gave him support, teaching and life example."

As a matter of fact, it was the 60th wedding anniversary celebration of David’s folks in August 2001 at which the Beamer clan was together with Todd for the last time.

"The last thing I said to Todd as I hugged him goodbye that day wasn’t anything out of the ordinary," David told me. "They were words he’d heard me say every time we’d parted as adults: Great to be together. Drive carefully. I love you!"

But it’s the ordinary stuff of everyday life that reveals the level of commitment. Todd’s heroic behavior on United Flight 93 did not surprise his mom or dad. For them, his prayerful and purposeful reaction to tragedy was indicative of the way he responded every day.

"The reason Todd acted with conviction and courage in those extraordinary moments when Flight 93 was falling to the ground was because he had maintained his integrity and values in the ordinary days of his life."

 

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com

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