TODD BEAMER POST OFFICE BUILDING; Congressional Record Vol. 147, No. 167
(House of Representatives - December 05, 2001)

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[Pages H8864-H8866]
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  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the 
rules and pass the bill (H.R. 3248) to designate the facility of the 
United States Postal Service located at 65 North Main Street in 
Cranbury, New Jersey, as the ``Todd Beamer Post Office Building''.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                               H.R. 3248

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,


       (a) Designation.--The facility of the United States Postal 
     Service located at 65 North Main Street in Cranbury, New 
     Jersey, shall be known and designated as the ``Todd Beamer 
     Post Office Building''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to be 
     a reference to the Todd Beamer Post Office Building.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Virginia (Mrs. Jo Ann Davis) and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. 
Davis) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Virginia (Mrs. Jo Ann 

                             General Leave

  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent 
that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and 
extend their remarks on H.R. 3248.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Virginia?
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time 
as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 3248 introduced by our 
distinguished colleague, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt). This 
measure designates the facility of the United States Postal Service 
located at 65 North Main Street in Cranbury, New Jersey, as the ``Todd 
Beamer Post Office Building''. Members of the entire House delegation 
from the State of New Jersey are cosponsors of this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, many heroes emerged on September 11, from firefighters 
and policemen to military personnel at the Pentagon to citizens such as 
Todd Beamer. Todd Beamer, a resident of Cranbury, was one of the 
passengers on the hijacked United Flight 93 who gave their lives 
fighting the hijackers and denying them their deadly mission on 
September 11.
  Mr. Beamer was a husband, father, a businessman and a citizen. He is 
survived by his wife, Lisa, and their two children and a third child 
who is expected in about 2 weeks. His courageous acts and the acts of 
all of the passengers on Flight 93 are an inspiration to all Americans. 
Their acts saved countless lives.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge adoption of H.R. 3248.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
  Mr. Speaker, as a member of the Committee on Government Reform, I am 
pleased to join my colleague, the gentlewoman from Virginia (Mrs. Jo 
Ann Davis), in consideration of H.R. 3248, legislation naming a post 
office in Cranbury, New Jersey, after Todd Beamer.
  H.R. 3248 was introduced by the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) 
on November 7, 2001. I would like to begin my remarks by thanking the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) for continuing the tradition of 
naming post offices after individuals of accomplishment and people who 
have given up much to the betterment of their community and of their 
  Naming a postal facility after Todd Beamer sets a very high standard 
indeed; for Todd Beamer not only accomplished much, he gave his life in 
defense of our country.
  The consideration of H.R. 3248 on the heels of H. Con. Res. 232 is 
important, important because we in the Congress express our 
appreciation to the passengers and crew of the hijacked United Airlines 
Flight 93 for diverting the use of that aircraft from its intended 
target, Washington, D.C., possibly headed for the White House or the 
Nation's Capitol. As the resolution states, we in the Congress extend 
our condolences to the victims, families and friends. We also place a 
memorial plaque honoring the victims of Flight 93 on the Capitol 

                              {time}  1245

  Acknowledging the heroic struggle aboard Flight 93 leads us to the 
consideration of H.R. 324, and the fateful telephone call from Todd 
Beamer to a telephone operator. Todd Beamer, along with other 
passengers on the plane, organized resistance to the hijacking after 
learning the fate of three planes, two of which flew into the World 
Trade Center and one which hit the Pentagon.
  Mr. Speaker, on September 11, Flight 93 took off from Newark, New 
Jersey, bound for San Francisco, with Captain Jason Dahl in the pilot's 
seat. Along the way, it suddenly and unexpectedly detoured, heading for 
Washington, D.C.
  Before I conclude my comments, I would like to express my sincere 
condolences to the widow of Todd Beamer. She has handled the loss of 
her husband extremely well. But in addition, Lisa Beamer has become a 
real activist, organizing assistance for victims and the families of 
those who were victimized. She is in Washington this day, trying to 
generate support for the families of those who lost loved ones. Her 
children and family can take great comfort in knowing that their father 
and son was a hero and a master of his fate. His actions have left 
behind a great legacy, a legacy of patriotism, a legacy of love, a 
legacy of courage, and a legacy of leadership. Mr. Speaker, I often 
define leadership as the ability to do what needs to be done, but to do 
it first.
  In closing, I am proud to support H.R. 3248. I thank the chairman of 
the Committee on Government Reform, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. 
Burton), and the ranking minority member, the gentleman from California 
(Mr. Waxman), for moving quickly to schedule this bill. I also again 
express my appreciation to my colleague, the gentleman from New Jersey 
(Mr. Holt), for introducing this legislation.
  In what has been quoted as the final immortal words of Todd Beamer, I 
close, Mr. Speaker, by asking America, ``Are you ready? Let's roll.'' I 
urge the swift passage of H.R. 3248.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of 
my time.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may 
consume to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt), who is the sponsor 
of this legislation.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague and friend from Illinois 
for yielding me this time, and I rise to speak in favor of H.R. 3248, 
legislation to designate the United States Post Office in Cranbury, in 
my home district, as the Todd Beamer Post Office.
  I too want to express my appreciation to the chairman of the 
committee, the gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton), and the ranking 
member, the gentleman from California (Mr. Waxman), as well as the 
majority leader, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Armey), for allowing 
this bill to come to the floor; and I thank my colleagues for their 
eloquent remarks.

[[Page H8865]]

  This is, I think, very appropriate. America has found a hero in Todd 
Beamer, one of the passengers on hijacked Flight 93. We all mourn the 
loss of Todd Beamer and the others on that flight; and our hearts and 
prayers go out to Lisa Beamer, who is here with us in the gallery now, 
and to their two fine children, whom I have observed, and to all the 
other families of people on that plane. We hold up the memory of Mr. 
Beamer as one who represents what is good about America. All of America 
knows of his reciting the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer, and his words, 
``Let's roll.''
  At a time like this, we seek to draw lessons for us Americans who are 
left behind after September 11. For a couple of centuries observers 
from around the world, from Alexis de Toqueville to Winston Churchill, 
have spoken about the marvelous ability of Americans to rise to meet a 
challenging situation, the ability of individual Americans to step from 
their ordinary lives to do extraordinary things. You will notice I do 
not say ordinary Americans, because, in fact, that is the essence of 
what makes this country. There are no ordinary Americans. There are 
Americans who will, at one time or another, rise to do extraordinary 
  I attended a memorial service for Todd at the church in Plainsboro, 
New Jersey, where the Beamer family worships. And from the remembrances 
delivered lovingly by friends and family, I learned a lot about the 
character of this national hero. He was an outstanding athlete who led 
and inspired his athletes and who said he always seemed to somehow find 
a way to come up with a critical run. He was a fine businessman who 
stood out in a national company. He was an involved and loving father 
of David, 3 years old, and 1-year-old Andrew, and was looking forward 
to the upcoming birth of his third child. But especially, especially I 
learned that he was a man of deep religious faith, a faith that allowed 
him to look past death to act so courageously on board Flight 93.
  We believe that the band of passengers who fought the hijackers, 
Todd's father calls them freedom fighters, saved hundreds, perhaps 
thousands of lives that would have been taken if that plane had made 
its fiery descent into the hijackers' intended target. And it is worth 
noting that none of those people whose lives were saved know who they 
are. We will never know. But all Americans can be grateful.
  Ours is a diverse country, with a rich religious tradition, a very 
diverse religious tradition. And September 11 was a particularly tough 
day for Muslims. They find that day hard because there were some people 
who wanted to say that those were Muslims who hijacked the plane. But 
good Muslims assure me that no follower of Mohammed would have done 
that. Because it is written not only in the Judeo-Christian tradition 
but also in the Koran. In the Talmud it says, ``Whoever saves a single 
life is honored as though he saved an entire world.'' And in the Koran, 
``If anyone saved a life, it would be as though he saved the life of 
the whole people.''
  The memory of the people on board Flight 93 reminds us that this is 
not the last time that America will need heroes. Andrew and David can 
grow up knowing that their father acted heroically. They can also see 
it in the way their mother has borne this hard time. The survival of 
American ideals, though, beyond the immediate Beamer family, depends 
day in and day out on ordinary Americans stepping out of their ordinary 
lives to do extraordinary things, courageous things. It is appropriate, 
I think, that people will be able to find inspiration as they look at 
the Federal post office in Cranbury and pause for a moment to reflect 
on the essence of America, what we can extract from our diversity, and 
also to reflect on the meaning of religious faith in our lives.
  It is only fitting that a memorial for Todd be established in 
Cranbury, where he and his family live.
  First settled in 1697, the town of Cranbury is one of the oldest 
towns in New Jersey. It derived its name from the brook on whose banks 
it had its beginning. Over 80 soldiers from the Revolutionary War are 
buried in the town. While it today is in close proximity to some of our 
Nation's largest metropolitan areas, Cranbury retains its unique 
village character.
  The opportunity comes to every American to do courageous things. I 
want to repeat that. To every American. Now, most of us will never have 
the chance, thank God, to have to face down an armed hijacker. But many 
will have the opportunity in their neighborhoods or among their friends 
to face down bigotry, intolerance, or injustice. The memory of people 
like Todd Beamer helps us meet those challenges.
  This legislation is one small honor for Todd Beamer and for all the 
heroes on Flight 93 and elsewhere around the country on September 11. 
It is not the last time America will need heroes.
  I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this bill, and I also urge 
that we honor the survivors and families left after the atrocities 
through appropriate compensation and tax relief.

                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Although the Chair understands the 
gentleman's sentiment, the Chair must remind all Members not to 
introduce or bring to the attention of the House any occupant in the 
  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 
3\1/2\ minutes to my distinguished colleague, the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Smith).
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from 
Virginia for yielding me this time.
  Let me just say, Mr. Speaker, I rise in very strong support of H.R. 
3248, to designate the United States Postal Service facility in 
Cranbury as the Todd Beamer Post Office Building, and want to thank the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) for sponsoring the legislation 
that is before us today.
  Mr. Speaker, when Congress names particular facilities in honor of 
someone, we do it because they have made an outstanding contribution to 
society. I can think of no one who deserves that honor more than Todd 
Beamer. The accounts of his heroism aboard Flight 93 fill us with awe 
and gratitude and inspire us. And by all accounts, it was Todd's faith 
in the Lord that inspired him to act with such decisiveness and 
tenacity and with such courage.
  Todd's deeds and the actions of his fellow passengers aboard Flight 
93 have become powerfully etched into the psyche of America itself. 
Flight 93 has become a symbol of the American spirit, the spirit of 
courage and selfless sacrifice, of standing up to cowards who would 
kill in the middle of the night or by using aircraft as cruise 
  When faced with the ultimate test of character, Todd Beamer did not 
flinch for one moment. He took bold action to stop an act of terrorism 
in progress. On his last phone call from the aircraft, Todd told Lisa 
Jefferson, the GTE air phone supervisor working out of the Illinois 
facility, that he and his other passengers aboard Flight 93 were 
planning to overpower the hijackers and to stop their suicide attack. 
Miss Jefferson cautioned him to consider carefully what he was saying: 
``Are you sure that that is what you want to do, Todd?'' Todd's 
response: ``It's what we have to do.''
  Mr. Speaker, how often do we hear those words--this is something I 
have to do--the notion that someone is acting out of a moral imperative 
is astonishing in this day and age. Well, Todd did it and did it with 
great distinction and courage.
  Many in America before September 11 had become jaded about the notion 
of selfless sacrifice, Mr. Speaker, of doing what is right even when 
you know it may cost you your very life. We know from the Scriptures 
that our Lord Jesus Christ said, ``There is no greater love than he who 
lays down his life for his brother or for his sister,'' and that is 
exactly what Todd Beamer has done. Surely he has, is and will be 
greatly blessed in Heaven for his sacrifice.
  Mr. Speaker, the cowardly terrorists counted on both the element of 
surprise and on the element of intimidation to achieve their awful end, 
but they did not count on meeting face to face with the likes of Todd 
Beamer. Todd Beamer was an extraordinary man on what should have been 
an ordinary flight. And when faced with a horrific set of 
circumstances, Todd stepped up to the plate and he did what had to be 
done. And he never, not for a moment, by all accounts, even hesitated.
  Instead, Todd drew his courage and strength from his faith. He told 

[[Page H8866]]

Jefferson, ``I don't think we're going to get out of this thing. I'm 
going to have to go out on faith.'' Mr. Speaker, his last words, as we 
all know, and as President Bush has quoted, was ``Let's roll.'' And 
those words, I think, have mobilized and motivated and inspired all 
Americans in our current fight in Afghanistan. ``Let's roll.'' Let's 
stop these terrorists.
  Let me finally remind Members of Todd's embrace of Psalm 23, which 
surely was in Todd's heart in those final moments, where it is said by 
King David, ``The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me 
to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for 
His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of 
death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and staff they 
comfort me.''
  A post office memorializing Todd Beamer is the least we in Congress 
can do to honor his supreme sacrifice. He was a great man; and we honor 
his widow Lisa--a strong woman in her own right and his family.
  Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my 
  Somehow or another, heroes arise in times of great need. Heroes arise 
in times of great need. At a time of crisis and great need, Todd Beamer 
and his fellow passengers rose up. And because they rose up, we have 
the ability to continue to stand up on this floor and protect the 
rights of Americans and of people all over the world.
  So we take this moment not only to designate a post office in honor 
of Todd Beamer, but we say, ``Thank you, Todd. Thank you, passengers 
and crew of Flight 93.''
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1300

  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Tancredo).
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, every time we hear of the deeds of the 
folks like Todd Beamer on Flight 93, we are left with the kind of 
introspection that can be very challenging. We have to say to 
ourselves, what would I have done? How would I have reacted under 
similar circumstances? We all want to think that we would have done 
what Mr. Beamer and others did. We can only hope that is the case, but 
we can also only hope that we will not have to face that challenge.
  But if we do, if something like that ever comes up again, the fact is 
that any American who has read the story, becomes acquainted with the 
actions of the people on Flight 93, we can sincerely believe that the 
possibility for us to do the right thing under those circumstances, to 
do what they did, is greater because we know what they did, and because 
of what it does for us internally, because of the way it changes us, 
because of the courage, perhaps, that they have given us.
  Mr. Speaker, we also are able to put faces together with names now of 
people who were on the plane. I take this opportunity also to think 
about and to speak for just a moment about Captain Jason Dahl. Mr. Dahl 
chose to be on the plane that day. He scheduled himself for Flight 93. 
From everything we have learned about Mr. Dahl, it is certainly 
understandable and it is quite probable that it was his decision even 
to take the plane into the ground rather than into any other edifice.
  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time 
as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I commend the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Holt) for 
introducing this legislation and for working so hard to ensure its 
passage. I encourage all Members to support this resolution. Mr. 
Speaker, to quote Todd Beamer, ``Let's roll.''
  Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3248 and wish to 
fully express my gratitude to the crew of United Flight 93, and 
especially its captain, Jason M. Dahl. It was with immense sadness that 
I learned that the Dahl family and indeed all of Colorado had been 
robbed on September 11th of a good man and a good father. Mr. Dahl's 
family, to paraphrase President Lincoln, must feel enormous pride for 
having laid such a costly sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
  According to a friend, Dahl learned to fly before he learned to 
drive. A neighbor remembered Dahl's football and baseball games in the 
street with neighborhood children and his commitment to his family and 
his community. Having read the statements of those who eulogized him, I 
cannot help but conclude that the gentleman flying that plane was one 
of America's best--a great father and husband alkike. Since September 
11th, America has rediscovered the importance of family, and turned to 
family members for comfort and understanding. It is no small tragedy 
that the Dahl family does not have this luxury, having been left 
incomplete on September 11th.
  Most of us saw evil on that day watching the pictures of the two 
planes collide with the World Trade Towers in New York City. Jason Dahl 
almost surely saw evil in a different form. He must have seen it in the 
faces of the hijackers and known that it was in their hearts.
  The loss of Mr. Dahl and all of the passengers aboard Flight 93 will 
not be forgotten--certainly not by this body. This morning, we passed a 
resolution calling for a plaque to be placed on the grounds of the 
Capitol memorializing their deaths. I would suggest that their memory 
will go much farther. The fact that this great building and its dome--
two irreplaceable symbols of American democracy--still stand today will 
always be a living memorial to their sacrifice.
  My prayers, Mr. Speaker, are with all of the innocent civilians who 
died aboard that plane, and especially Jason Dahl and his family.
  Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance 
of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentlewoman from Virginia (Mrs. Jo Ann Davis) that the 
House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3248.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.