Todd Evans Beamer

Todd Evans Beamer

Birth
Death 7 Jun 1997 (aged 28)
Jefferson County, Oregon, USA
Burial Madras, Jefferson County, Oregon, USA
Plot Lot 32 Space 6
Memorial ID 28917542 · View Source
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Story of Flight 93 hero rekindles memory of one man's own loss
Story by: Troy Foster - Madras Pioneer

Sept. 11, 2002 — A year ago today, Dr. Leland "Bud" Beamer's thoughts were with his late son, Todd.
Sept. 11 marked his birthday, and Bud woke up knowing Todd would be turning 33 if a tragic accident hadn't claimed his life four years earlier.
But as every American soon found his or her way to their radios and TVs, Bud's attention naturally turned to the national tragedy unfolding and momentarily away from his son's birthday.
Yet, the story of another Todd Beamer -- one of several passengers on Flight 93 who stormed the cockpit of their hijacked plane and undoubtedly saved many more lives through their struggle with the terrorists -- would soon captivate the family physician's interest and rekindle the feelings of courage, sacrifice and sadness associated with the death of his own Todd Beamer.
"This Sept. 11 thing has really added another dimension to it," Bud says.
Two days after Sept. 11, Bud was watching CNN as a list of victims aboard the United Airlines flight that crashed into a Pennsylvania field scrolled across the bottom of the screen.
"All of a sudden Todd Beamer comes across and I thought, `What in the world?,'" Bud says. "It was kind of an incredulous feeling. Just to see it was emotional."
Bud instantly was drawn to the story of Todd Morgan Beamer, whose life and heroic story carried an uncanny resemblance to the life of Todd Evans Beamer, his son.
If alive today, both men would be the same age -- their birthday's just a few months apart with Todd E. Beamer's on the day of Todd M. Beamer's passing.
They were the athletic sort, both standing above six feet. Todd E. Beamer quarterbacked one of Madras High School's most remembered football teams to the state playoffs in 1986. In basketball, he helped the school to a league championship. His athletic skill took him to Eastern Oregon College, where he became the starting quarterback for the Mountaineers.
Todd M. Beamer also was blessed with athleticism. He was fond of basketball and baseball, playing both at Wheaton College in Illinois.
"There are so many similarities, even in their smiles," Bud says.
"It brings the name back, and all the feelings."
Both young men also were known for their sayings. Students of Todd E. Beamer, who taught physical education at Neah-Kah-Nie High School near Tillamook during the last years of his life, recalled that he often told them they needed "PMA," or positive mental attitude in their life. Todd M. Beamer, a software accounts manager from Cranbury, N.J., had a pet saying, too. "Let's roll," he'd say to his children when it was time to get into the car, put on their shoes, or get moving.
The latter's saying was his last known words, spoken to a GTE-Verizon operator as he and others aboard his flight left their seats in a heroic attempt to overpower their hijackers and regain control of their plane. The two words have since become the battle cry of the nation in its war on terrorism.
Out of Todd Morgan Beamer's story, Bud is constantly reminded of his own son's legacy of character, courage and the inspiration he provided to others.
Todd Evans Beamer drowned June 7, 1997, in an irrigation canal. He had taken the family's five dogs with him out to an irrigation ditch road for a 12-mile jog but never returned.
His body was found in the North Unit Irrigation District siphon that runs across the Willow Creek Canyon three days later. Four dogs also were found drowned, and it is believed that Beamer, the strong swimmer that he was, had jumped into the canal to rescue one or more of them.
Todd E. Beamer had returned home for his sister's graduation ceremony. The day Todd M. Beamer died, he also was headed home to be with his family.
Both gave their lives trying to help others. Todd M. Beamer jumped the terrorists in an attempt to save his fellow passengers. Todd E. Beamer sacrificed his life trying to save his beloved dogs, who were like children to the Beamer family. One of them, a German Shepard named Sly, survived and is still with the family today.
Todd M. Beamer's story has become the most well known of those aboard Flight 93, and his family has been thrust into the spotlight for their perseverance and resolve in the face of tragedy.
Todd M. Beamer's wife, Lisa, a fixture on TV talk shows, has released a book appropriately titled, "Let's Roll!" His father, likewise, has participated in nationwide speaking engagements.
Through his son's memory, Bud shares his grief with the other Beamer family.
"There's a lot of things you connect with," Bud says. "And this Sept. 11 thing intensifies it on a personal level.
"It's mostly that another family has lost a Todd Beamer."
Recently, Bud wrote a letter to Todd M. Beamer's father, David, and enclosed a picture of his own son.
"I hope some day to meet with him when things settle down and share what we have in common," Bud says, which includes a strong sense of faith.
Bud and his wife, Beth Ann, recently moved to a new home out at the end of Elm Drive that overlooks Lake Simtustis and an area of carefully planted flowers that they named Todd Beamer Memorial Park. Their home is decorated with Eagle sculptures and paintings -- a motif in memory of the father's late son.
"Todd represents the strength of an eagle to us," Bud says. Often, he adds, they see bald eagles out their window over the canyon, and wonder if Todd is keeping an eye on them.
The eagle, a symbol of American pride, also fits Todd in a special way. "There wasn't a kid that was more patriotic," Bud says.
Each year on July 4, the day of this nation's birth, local residents participate in the Todd Beamer Memorial Run, and the entry-fee goes toward an endowment that funds an annual scholarship awarded to a young Madras athlete who shows passion and commitment to his or her team.
Todd Morgan Beamer has left a legacy in his death as well. Shortly after Sept. 11, his wife created The Todd Beamer Foundation to raise money for children who face trauma in their lives.
Bud prays for the family of Todd Morgan Beamer, and he feels a unique connection with them although they have never met.
He identifies with the strength they exude in public and knows there's an internal struggle they don't always let out into the open.
"She puts a veneer on it like all of us do," Bud says of Lisa Beamer. "And that family has a lot to do ahead of them."
Today, like every day, Bud's thoughts will be with Todd on what would have been his 34th birthday. His thoughts also will be with the family of Todd Morgan Beamer and the countless others who continue to grieve because of 9/11.
"So many mothers and fathers, husbands and wives and kids lost someone," Bud says.
"Our thoughts will be beyond ourselves for sure."


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  • Created by: Carrie and Allen
  • Added: 10 Aug 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28917542
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Todd Evans Beamer (11 Sep 1968–7 Jun 1997), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28917542, citing Milo Gard Cemetery, Madras, Jefferson County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Carrie and Allen (contributor 46963612) .