As I awaken, on theAnniversary of 9/11, I’m having a Todd Beamer moment. Todd Beamer was one of the passengers on Flight 93 that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. You may wonder how I could remotely comprehend anything he experienced. As a former Sheriff’s deputy, I’ve had moments where my continued existence was questionable, but that’s not what I believe Todd experienced. You see, I knew I had fellow deputies on the way to help me. I also knew that most of those I faced didn’t want death for themselves. I knew the danger I faced was the potential risk of the career I chose and that I was not a victim.
Todd was a college graduate pursuing a career as an account manager for a large software corporation with a wife, 2 boys and a baby due in late December or early January. While I would not presume to know his interests, I feel comfortable saying that he, like most Americans, was concerned with providing for his family, looking forward to the birth of his latest child and making plans for the future. Although he probably had worries of day to day life, wholesale destruction probably didn’t enter his mind. He boarded that plane looking forward to reuniting with his family and friends.
As Americans in 2001, most of us were involved with our own lives. Some have been concerned and involved in trying to warn of problems, of our economic situation, the subversion of our Constitution, and the eroding of our culture. Our thought processes were pretty much the same as when the passengers of Flight 93 boarded the plane that fateful day. Although there were warning signs, we were consumed with our plans, our lives and the daily grind. Many of us didn’t see what was under our noses.
The terrorists struck and incapacitated the pilot and co-pilot and although there was a passenger that had been killed, the shock and surprise of the attack left false hope that things might be okay. This corresponds to our reaction to the economic collapse of late 2007 and the election of a new President. Bad things happened, but there was hope that Barack Obama would turn things around, although many of us knew better.
We are now engaged, questioning, and seeking answers, pretty much like Todd and his fellow passengers did, calling on their cell phones and plane phones. We are doing our best to warn others, finding out more information to try to see what help would be coming our way. We are writing our congressmen, thinking about elections, and seeking more information as we listen to those who have ill intent towards America, tear us down, intimidate us, belittle us and seek to divide us. Just today, Muslim extremists pulled down Old Glory from American property at the Egyptian Embassy.
I can imagine what it was like on that plane. Utter chaos, loud yelling, passengers crying or frozen in fear and the fearful knowledge that the pilot and co-pilot are no longer in control of the plane. Todd and his fellow passengers are now conferring on what to do. Then they get the news of how the other planes were used as weapons against America.
This is the Todd Beamer moment.
We have been bombarded with conflicting news about what is going on in our country. Things are chaotic, there’s loud yelling, some are crying, frozen in fear or thinking wishfully things will turn out okay. There’s a sense of helplessness, with more crises happening almost every day and some telling us everything is fine.
We had the hope of the 2010 elections, very similar to Todd speaking with Lisa Jefferson, the customer service operator, who supported Todd in those last chaotic moments and did her best to provide as much assistance as she could, reciting the Lord’s Prayer with him. Even though she could not stop what was happening, she gave all she had to strengthen him for what lay ahead and warn others.
The difference between Flight 93 and the other planes on that fateful day is information. Todd learned what the other planes had been used for. They learned this wasn’t just a simple hi-jacking, it was an all-out destructive attack against our Constitution, our way of life, and our form of governance, in fact our very lives.
The Todd Beamer moment is when we realize our politicians cannot help us, no earthly help is coming, and the awful truth is that something catastrophic is headed our way. He realized that the plans he made with his wife and children were not going to happen. He realized he couldn’t save himself or his fellow passengers. What he could do was thwart the plans of those who wished our country ill. It lay upon his shoulders as to what he would and could do to change the trajectory of events. He chose not to be a victim.
With the news that our country’s credit standing is at risk, our debt is rising faster than the Titanic sank, our money is being devalued, enemies abroad are watching like vultures, and the current crop of politicians are either unable or unwilling to deal with the dire circumstances our country is in, not to mention the contempt that some of them have for the Constitution and our proud American heritage, I can hear Patrick Henry in the dark days before the shots were fired at Lexington Green in 1775:
|For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.|
Todd Beamer, with no special training, no thoughts of politics, race, or other superficial differences, united with his fellow passengers to do the best they could and did what needed to be done. When that plane turned, Todd Beamer felt panicked, yet with Linda Jefferson’s voice in his ear, the Lord’s Prayer echoing in the phone, and his fellow passengers beside him, his voice rang out: “Are you ready? Let’s roll!”
Many of us face anxiety and fear for the future and outrage that we are in this position. My fellow Americans, will we be victims of the hand we have been dealt? There are some who want to rob us of our Constitution, our heritage, our money, and our liberty. We can embrace our heritage; learn from our history and our heroes, of which there are many.
“We the People” must restore our knowledge of our Constitution, insisting on restoring it to its proper place as the Supreme Law of the Land, in the form the founders intended. Most importantly, we must put our personal lives, dreams, and hopes aside to do the work needed to restore our unity of purpose, which are liberty and justice for all, not privilege and pandering for political favors or special interests.
We must take back our American identity of a united country with moral principles and ideals to strive for individually, to leave an honorable legacy for our children.
We must prepare for the worst economically, to thwart those who seek our dependency on government, instead of ourselves and our communities. We must build resources for ourselves and our communities to withstand the degradation of our systems of governance and justice, as well as the very fabric of our society.
There are factions who seek to provoke, panic and stampede us into violence or to divide us into groups suspicious of each other to further their ends. Some pander to the lowest emotions of greed, entitlement and envy. Just as in the beginning of our nation, we must unite in purpose or die in chains.
Some think of Todd Beamer as a victim of a tragic vicious attack. I think not! Todd Beamer consciously chose his destiny from the hand he was dealt. I have no doubt he thought of the daughter he would never meet, yet chose to sacrifice his life for a higher purpose than himself for her future.
We face our Todd Beamer moment. Are we victims of the hand we were dealt, will we shut our eyes to the danger and indulge in wishful thinking? Will our legacy be that of victims who succumbed or will we brace our shoulders, make the hard choices and sacrifice our security and comfort to ensure our children’s liberty? My fellow Americans, I say “LET’S ROLL!”