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Do Something– We Will Always Remember

Do-Something– We Will Always Remember
By: Larry Indiviglia

It is Sunday morning, September 9, 2012.  I am sitting in my local Starbucks, safe, comfortable, calm and looking forward to reading the morning paper. Call me “old-fashioned,” I suppose, but I do enjoy the feel and the “experience” of reading the “Sunday” paper.  I remember an English teacher of mine back in high school, Lorraine Nagle, always encouraged us to read the Sunday NY TIMES, because it was a “healthy” thing to do, and a great “practice and habit “ to get into. So read I did and, after a brief review of the various headlines on politics, business, sports, art and life … and then some, it dawned on me that there was no mention of 9/11.  You know, the hijacking of 3 airliners, the loss of innocent lives, the horrible destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers, and a Nation and its people in “shock” and disbelief. The events of that day changed so many lives and continues to impact many lives 11 years later. Okay, I was reading the San Diego Union Tribune, not the NY TIMES, but it seemed odd that there was nothing in the paper on 9/11, and I understand the exact day is this Tuesday. In fact, not to get into politics, either side, I do not recall 9/11 being mentioned during either political party’s convention, maybe just isn’t relevant or important anymore. Well, I beg to differ, and here is why. Todd talked about the importance of “laser-like-focus” in your life, in your business, in your daily walk. Eleven years ago on 9/11 there were “4” people able to do “just that.” 4 people who with laser-like-focus lead a bunch of others and “did something” bigger than their own lives and in the process saved hundreds more. The “4” were Mark Bigham, Tom Burnett, Jeremy Glick and Todd Beamer, passengers all, on Flight 93, yes, the Flight whose final destination was on an open piece of farmland in Shanksville, PA.  Certainly not its original destination that fateful morning of 9/11/01, but because of fate and circumstance, its ultimate “final stop.”

So here I am in Starbucks, safe, comfortable and calm and I am thinking about Mark, and Tom, and Jeremy and Todd and how during that surreal morning up in that jetliner at 30,000 feet, they were anything but “safe and comfortable.”  But because of their education, experiences, and athletic backgrounds on fields of competition they were able to stay “calm.” They summoned the inner strength to “laser-like-focus” and “DO SOMETHING” as Tom Burnett shared with his wife on his last phone call of his life. The “DO SOMETHING” was not to sit with hands folded in the back of the plane and watch the Nation’s Capital go similarly up in flames as the Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Well, Tom and the others certainly DID SOMETHING with laser-like-focus, courage, and who knows what else on Flight 93, saved a bunch of people, made a DIFFERENCE and on a day of “horror and sorrow” created a “legacy” to their DASHES, that is memorialized at Shanksville, but more importantly in the hearts and minds of many Americans, this writer and coach included.

“DO SOMETHING” this week people. It can be something special for a client or a family member. It can be a random act of kindness, practice a “laser-like-focus” and make a difference in someone’s life. When you DO SOMETHING for others, you will be DOING SOMETHING for yourself.

“ The successful warrior is the average person, with laser-like-focus.”
……. Bruce Lee

In the Spotlight: “Four of a Kind”  my annual tribute on 9/11

Tomorrow is the 11th anniversary of 9/11.  One of the things I would like to share – call it my own personal way of remembering that day is the INSPIRING story of 4 Americans who together formed a Mastermind Group of their own – perhaps out of necessity – perhaps out of survival instinct – Regardless of their motivation, they made a DIFFERENCE, saved many LIVES, and wrote a “SIGNIFICANT” story to their “DASH”and “Lived a Life Worth Telling a Story About.”

The below article was written by Rick Reilly and appeared in Sports Illustrated (which I still have saved) on Sept 24, 2001 – 2 weeks after 9/11.


By Rick Reilly

The huge rugby player , the former high school football star and the onetime college baseball player were in first class, the former national judo champion was in coach.  On the morning of September 11, 2001 at 32,000 feet, those four men teamed up to sacrifice their lives for those of perhaps thousands of others.

Probably about an hour into the United Flight 93’s scheduled trip from Newark to San Francisco, the 38 passengers aboard the Boeing 757 realized they were being hijacked.  The terrorists commandeered the cockpit, and the passengers were herded to the back of the plane. 

Shoved together were four remarkable men who didn’t much like being shoved around.  One was publicist Mark Bingham, 31, who helped CAL win the 1991 and 1993 national collegiate rugby championships.  He was a surfer, and in July was carried on the horns of a bull in Pamplona.  Six-foot-five, rowdy and fearless, he once wrestled a gun from a mugger’s hand late at night on a San Francisco street.

One was medical research company executive Tom Burnett, 38, the standout quarterback for Jefferson High in Bloomington, Minn., when the team went to the Division championship game in 1980.  That team rallied around Burnett every time it was in trouble.

One was businessman Jeremy Glick, 31, 6′ 2″ and muscular, the 1993 collegiate judo champ in the 220-pound class from the University of Rochester (N.Y.), a national-caliber wrestler at Saddle River (NJ) Day School and an all-state soccer player.  “As long as I’ve known him, ” says his wife, Lyz, “he was the kind of man who never tried to be the hero – but always was.”

One was 32-year-old sales account manager Todd Beamer, who played mostly third base and shortstop in three seasons for Wheaton (Ill) College.

The rugby player picked up an Airfone and called his mother, Alice Hoglan of Sacramento to tell her he loved her.  The judo champ called Lyz at her parents’ house in Windham NY, to say goodbye to her and their 12-week old daughter Emmy. But in the calls the quarterback made to his wife, Deena, in San Ramon CA, and in the conversation the baseball player has with the GTE operator, the men made it clear that they had found out that two other hijacked planes had cleaved the WORLD TRADE CENTER Towers.

The pieces of the puzzle started to fit.  Somewhere near Cleveland the passengers on Flight 93 had felt the plane take a hard turn south.  They were now on course for Washington D.C. Senator Arlen Specter (R PA) believe the plane might have been headed for the Capital.  Beamer, Bingham, Burnett and Glick must have realized their jet was a guided missile.

The four apparently came up with a plan.  Burnett told his wife, ” I know we are going to die. Some of us are going to do something about it.” He wanted to rush the hijackers.

Nobody alive is sure about what happened next, but there’s good reason to believe that the four stormed the cockpit. Flight 93 never made it to Washington.  Instead, it dived into a field 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.  All passengers and crew perished.  NOBODY on the ground was killed.

In the heart of San Francisco’s largest gay neighborhood, a makeshift memorial grew, bouquet by bouquet, to the rugby player who was unafraid.  Yeah Bingham was gay. 

In Windham, a peace grew inside Lyz Glick, “I think God had this larger PURPOSE for him,” she said.  “He was supposed to fly out the night before, but couldn’t.  I had Emmy one month early, so Jeremy got to see her.  You can’t tell me God isn’t at work there.”

In Cranbury, NJ, a baby grew in Lisa Beamer, Todd’s wife, their third child.  Hearing the report last Friday of her husband’s heroics, Lisa said, “made my life worth living again.”

In Washington, a movement grew in Congress to give the four men the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award a civilian can receive.

At a time like this, sports are trivial.  But what the best athletes can do – KEEP THEIR COMPOSURE AMID CHAOS, FORM A PLAN WHEN ALL SEEMS LOST and FIND THE GUTS TO CARRY IT OUT —- may be why the Capitol is not a charcoal pit.

My 26-year old niece, Jessica Robinson, works for Congressman Land Evans (D-Ill).  Jessica was in the Capitol that morning.  This Christmas I’ll get to see her smiling face.

I am glad there were FOUR GUYS up there I could count on.



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