Was Todd Beamer the leader of the people on United Flight 93 that stopped the plane from crashing in D.C?Was he the leader of the people who stopped the hijackers and made them land in Shanksville?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Todd Beamer was on United Airlines Flight 93.  We know some of the details that happened on that particular flight because Todd used one of the phones on the plane to make a call; he ended up speaking with a customer service agent who recorded their conversation.  Beamer relayed information that hijackers had taken over the plane, killing one passenger and gaining control of the cockpit.  He told the operator that he and some of the other passengers were going to try to stop the hijackers.  As the conversation ended, the operator could hear him say to his fellow passengers, "Are you guys ready? Let's roll."

From that point on, the phone call ended, and we can never really know what exactly happened, except from some information from the black box that the men did in fact storm the cockpit in an attempt to wrestle the controls away from the highjackers.  Beamer could definitely be considered as one of the leaders of the group, since he called the other men to action.  Thomas Burnett was also one of the main strategists of their plan.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There can be no doubt that the actions of Todd Beamer and Thomas Burnett and the other men who apparently stormed the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93 during the September 11 terrorist attacks were acts of extreme heroism. However, I should also point out that there is evidence that the plane was actually shot down by the U. S. military. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recently acknowledged as much after years of denial. Former Vice President Dick Cheney also admits having given the order for the commercial liner to be shot down, and he hints that former President George Bush complied. These revelations do not diminish the heroic actions of Beamer and the others, but the passengers all probably died by a U. S. missile, rather than on impact in Pennsylvania.