Doug MacMillan, whose best friend Todd Beamer died heroically on United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, will share his story at a 9/11 remembrance event at the Ronald Reagan Lodge at Voice of America Park in West Chester today at 4 p.m. on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
On Sept. 11, ten years ago, MacMillan was on his way to work when he turned on the radio and was “overwhelmed” by what he heard. Two planes had just crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, while a third crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
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MacMillan, a resident of Cranbury, N.J., located about 50 miles south of Manhattan, got off at a nearby exit to watch television coverage of what was taking place.
“As all this was happening, it dawned on me that Todd was getting on a flight and that my wife was flying. It was just one of those surreal moments,” MacMillan said.
“Seeing what was going on and trying to grasp everything was unimaginable.”
Eventually, he did get a hold of his wife, Chivon, whose flight from Germany to Newark, N.J., had landed in Greenland. That was when he told her that Todd’s flight crashed in Pennsylvania.
“I couldn’t be there to tell her in person and I didn’t want her to see it on the news. She had just been with them (Todd and his wife, Lisa) on a flight the week before,” he said.
Todd (photo – left) and other members of United Airlines Flight 93 were featured all over the news, as they heroically attempted to regain control of their airplane after al-Qaeda terrorists took it over Sept. 11.
During the flight, Beamer spoke to a GTE supervisor for 13 minutes on the plane’s in-flight telephone, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
According to that story, Beamer told the supervisor, Lisa D. Jefferson, what had happened, what was currently going on and what he and other passengers intended to do on the plane, which was to “jump on” the hijacker wearing a bomb.
He then dropped the phone. That was when Jefferson heard him famously say, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll!”
Shortly after those words, the plane crashed near Shanksville, Pa., killing all 40 passengers and crew on board. (more…)
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