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'LET'S ROLL': Todd Beamer's dad talks about a crucial 20 minutes on 9/11

Todd Beamer was one of several Americans who spared our capital from a second terrorist attack. His Dad talks about what we may not have known from 9/11.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two words with enormous consequence.  Let's roll.

It was a call to action by Todd Beamer, one of the Americans on Flight 93 on 9/11. Now those famous words have become immortalized in movies, such as "Flight 93." 

Todd's father, David Beamer, lived in Ponte Vedra at the time. He says, "I believed then and now the target was the nation's capital." 

Beamer says his son and the other brave Americans on that flight were able to fight back against the terrorists because the plane was late.

"It enabled the passengers to figure out -- by technology and cell phones" that terrorists had already begun attacking the United States.  They knew they needed to act with quick resolve.

His son, Todd, was on the phone with Lisa Jefferson, a telephone operator in Chicago.  Beamer calls her an "earwitness."  Through her phone call, Americans now know that Todd and other passengers saved countless lives by giving up their lives.

The plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Everyone was killed.

But a larger tragedy was barely avoided, Beamer says, "because at jet speed the terrorists were only 20 minutes away from reaching their intended target" of the U.S. Capitol building.

Credit: Beamer Family - Todd Beamer

Beamer says his son was a highly organized businessman.  He kept precise times on his planners. "But he didn't know," his father says, "that he would meet his Maker at 10 o'clock that day, right? But he was ready."

Beamer says his family relies on their Christian faith. "Todd's soul is okay. He's been having a great day every day of these last 20 years, unlike some of the rest of us." 

He finds peace hearing the account from operator Jefferson.  She told how Todd wanted to pray the Lord's prayer with him.  "In fact," Beamer says, not too long ago he had a special Bible study on that model prayer."

Credit: David and Todd Beamer

Beamer says he wishes everyone would make a stop at the National Memorial in Pennsylvania. The photo below shows someone paying respects at the marker honoring Todd Beamer.

Credit: AP
Suzi Balco, of St. Joseph, Mich., top left, places a flag at the name of Todd Beamer at the Wall of Names after a Service of Remembrance at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015, as the nation marks the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

And on this 20th Anniversary of 9/11, he credits the brave American men and women who've been keeping our country free of another terrorist attack like on 9/11.  "They carried on the fight for security with loss of blood, limb and even their very lives."

His son was 32 on 9/11 when he gave his life to save other Americans.

Now he would be 52. 

He has two sons and a daughter, who was born in January after the September 11th attacks.  She carries his middle name,  Morgan.