The Heroes of Sept. 11
Short biographies of some of the Sept. 11 victims many Americans felt they got to know after the attacks:
The 32-year-old Oracle Corp. account manager from Cranbury, N.J., was believed to have helped lead a passenger attack on Flight 93 hijackers that prevented the jet from reaching its target, possibly the White House. Beamer spoke to a GTE operator on the plane's phone. His final words -- "Are you guys ready? Let's roll!" -- have become a rallying cry for the war against terrorism. Beamer and his wife, Lisa, had two sons: David, now 4, and Drew, 2. His daughter, Morgan, was born in January. Beamer played baseball and basketball in college and loved coaching youth sports. President Bush, in an address to the nation last fall, praised Beamer as "an exceptional man." Today, the Todd M. Beamer Foundation aims to help kids deal with trauma and learn how to make choices.
A 6-foot-5 rugby player and founder of a public relations firm, Bingham called his mother from Flight 93 and said he and other passengers were planning to fight back. Bingham, 31, was gay, and has become a symbol of inspiration to the nation's gay community. The Mark Bingham Leadership Fund provides scholarships to students with interests in areas including rugby and the qualities of teamwork, leadership and heroism. Rugby teams in the San Francisco Bay area now vie for a cup named in Bingham's honor.
Thomas E. Burnett Jr.
Burnett called his wife, Deena, to tell her about the Flight 93 hijacking and said he and other passengers were "going to do something about it." Burnett, 38, of San Ramon, Calif., was senior vice president and chief operating officer of Thoratec Corp., a medical research and development company. His wife and three daughters moved to Arkansas this year to be closer to her parents. The new Thomas Burnett Family Foundation plans to provide endowments for children's bereavement camps and leadership scholarships at selected universities.
Glick called his wife, Lyz, after terrorists took over Flight 93. She patched the call to a 911 dispatcher, who told Glick about earlier attacks in New York. Glick told his wife some passengers had taken a vote, and "We're going to rush the hijackers." Glick, 31, of West Milford, N.J., had been a collegiate judo champion at the University of Rochester. His older sister, Jennifer, is president of the new Jeremy's Heroes foundation, which is devoted to helping people build character through sports. The foundation has supplied sneakers to kids in Chicago and paid for 20 children in Washington to attend a soccer camp.
The Rev. Mychal Judge
Judge's death certificate listed him as victim No. 00001 -- the first official fatality of the World Trade Center attack. A stretch of West 31st Street has been renamed in the New York fire department chaplain's honor, and the Mychal Judge ferry runs around Manhattan and from New Jersey. A group of New York firefighters traveled to the Vatican to deliver Judge's helmet to Pope John Paul II. And former Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen's grandson, born three weeks after the attack, was named Mason Judge. Judge's poster-sized portrait still stands inside the front door of Engine Co. 1/Ladder Co. 24, his local firehouse. The Advocate, a national gay magazine, put him on its cover as one of "our heroes." Thousands filled the church for Judge's funeral, and hundreds stood outside.