JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- David Beamer didn't think his son was on an airplane on 9/11.
His son, Todd Beamer, had won a trip to Italy at work and he wasn't due home just yet. But business called, his son responded, and David Beamer received the call that punctured his heart.
MORE: 9/11 Section
His son was on United Flight 93, the San Francisco-bound flight that took off from Newark, N.J., and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. It is believed that after the plane was hijacked by terrorists, likely to crash into the U.S. Capitol or the White House, those on board tried to recover it.
Afterwards, David Beamer, who now lives in Ponte Vedra, jumped into a car and drove, he said, "very fast" from California to the East Coast to comfort his wife and attend a memorial for his son.
He last saw Todd Beamer in person 16 days before the attack at a family reunion. His son had loaded his young children into the car to drive home, then said a familiar thing to his dad: "Hey, love you, Beam."
They embraced. It would be the last time father and son got to give each other a bear hug.
Beamer's words on Flight 93 have become iconic. A GTE telephone operator Lisa Jefferson, said she was on the phone saying the Lord's Prayer with Beamer. The passengers, Beamer had explained, knew about the other planes, even though he said the hijackers had assured those on board that they would land safely.
Jefferson said she heard Beamer say, "Let's roll," and then the plane went off the radar.
Universal Studio produced a movie called, "United 93," depicted the heroic actions of the passengers that day.
David Beamer believes in just 30 minutes the passengers took over the plane. He said it was headed to the U.S. Capitol building. Some believe it was headed to the White House, but Beamer said the Capitol is more logical to him.
He explains the terrorists had already targeted symbols of our country: commerce (in N.Y.) and the military (Pentagon).
The Capitol represented the seat of a democratic governmental system the terrorists opposed, and so Beamer is convinced that was the bullseye for Flight 93.
"In my heart, I knew Todd was not just sitting in the back of the plane," David said. "Nobody on the ground died; the dome of the nation's Capitol was intact."
"They were victims. They became soldiers. They were casualties of war."
Beamer is still concerned the enemy, he calls "radical Islamic fundamentalism" is working to undermine our system of freedom.
He thinks Americans should be more vigilant to the infiltration tactics the enemy uses to eat away at American freedom.
He's also frustrated the memorial at the field in Pennsylvania is not as far along as the ones in New York and Washington, and urges Americans, if possible, to give a donation equal to one hour of wages.
Beamer will be speaking on 9/11 at a church in St. Charles, Mo., delivering a message of faith, he said.
He says Micah 6:8 is a key verse for him.
Todd Beamer was a Christian on Sept. 10, the day before the attacks, said his father. We all have a Sept. 10, the day before our death, Beamer said, and he's at peace knowing his son accepted Christ.
One day there will be a, "Beamer reunion in Heaven," he said. What will they say? "Love you, Beam -- yeah," said Beamer.
First Coast News