CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Lisa Beamer at Christmas Time
Aired December 24, 2001 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: Her husband was one of the heroes of Flight 93, and now she prepares to face the holidays without him. Warmed by family memories and faith join for us inspiring hour, with Lisa Beamer,
Plus, Kelsey Grammer with a very special reading of "The Night Before Christmas," all next on LARRY KING LIVE!
Joining us tonight from Cranbury, New Jersey, is the now very famous Lisa Beamer, who lost her husband Todd on United Flight 93. She is the mother two of children, Drew is almost 2 and David is almost 4, she expects her third child next month. Cranbury, New Jersey, are they going, by the way, rename that post office for Todd?
LISA BEAMER, WIDOW OF FLIGHT 93 VICTIM: Yes, I happen to be in Washington, D.C., last week when the bill was before the House, and it went through the House and now we are just waiting for the Senate to approve it, and then it will be renamed.
KING: That is really -- Cranbury is not spelled like the Cranberry. Do you know the reason for the name?
BEAMER: You know what I have to be honest, I don't know the reason for the name I know the town has been around since the 1600s, so we have history here.
KING: Must have been somebody named Cranbury.
BEAMER: I would think so.
KING: Well, now it will be the Todd Beamer Post Office, that's a great honor. How are you holding up, especially in the holiday season which can for some people be the saddest season of all?
BEAMER: Yes. It is hard, it's definitely hard when we get out the Christmas tree and the decorations, and you know you find ornaments that were Todd's. And you look at pictures from last year and think, how it should be or how could it be. And it is hard and you have to kind of deal with that loss. But at the same time, you know specially because my children are little, and we know that the Christmas holidays are an important time for us just to remember our faith and why we believe what we believe, so it kind of gives it a bigger perspective, as well.
KING: Does David who is about 4, does he ask about daddy?
BEAMER: He does. We talk about him a lot, he knows what happened. And he doesn't want to know again what happened, but he wants to talk about it. And, you know, he knows Todd's not coming back and he doesn't have to have that rehashed for him. But for the most part we talk about what he did with daddy, and what he would be doing if daddy was here. And we try to keep it kind of, along those lines, and that's kind of what he wants to talk about right now. But certainly, I know, for the years to come for all the children there will be different questions at different times, which we'll just deal with when they come along.
KING: How about Drew?
BEAMER: Drew doesn't know too much about what happened. He is just getting verbal now, but he will see pictures of Todd and he'll run to them and say daddy, and he'll get excited but then he's quick to move on to the next thing -- so for him, and obviously for this baby, this whole thing will be a slow realization for what they lost and what that means to them.
KING: How does it make you feel when they talk about daddy?
BEAMER: It depends on my mood that day. Some days it just makes me cry, and some days I am able to hold it together and just talk to them, and be encouraging to them and smile and laugh. And, you know, I don't want to -- every time they mention daddy's name I don't want to cry. I don't want to make them feel like it's not something that they can talk about or that it makes mommy sad.
But I do want to be honest with them with my emotions, as well, so it's kind of a mixture. But I try to keep a lot of pictures around the house, and pro actively talk about you know what we would be doing if daddy was here, his birthday was a few weeks ago so we talked about that, and what we would have been doing that day. And David said, but mom we could still have cake. So, you know that's their perspective.
KING: Your husband...
BEAMER: I try to --
KING: ... he's a hero, you know, of course, he is -- he and the others attacked those people, saved a lot of lives in Washington while taking their own. He will always be embedded (ph) as a hero. Have they gotten any awards, yet?
BEAMER: The families of Flight 93 were invited to the White House about two weeks after the 11th. And we were met individually as families by president and Mrs. Bush, which was very nice. And actually, last week when I was in Washington, to hear the legislation on the post office, there was also legislation that was on the floor to put a memorial on the grounds of the Capitol building for the passengers of Flight 93. For the fact that they may have actually saved the Capitol Building, and saved so many of those politicians' lives, so that I think will be done. And that is all I'm aware of right now.
KING: Are the children anxiously awaiting the rival of their little brother or sister?
BEAMER: Actually, they are more anxiously awaiting Christmas at this point.
KING: Santa Claus has priority.
BEAMER: Yes, that has to come first they know. And then, actually, David's birthday is the first week in January so that's the next thing on the list. And then the baby, so they have quite a few things coming up in the next few weeks that will be exciting for them, challenging for me, but we will do them right and we will get through.
KING: Did you send out Christmas cards this year?
BEAMER: You know what I didn't. Not because -- mostly just because of logistics, I just have so many other things on my plate right now. And, obviously, people know what's going on in my life for the most part. And we have had a lot of visits with friends and family just in the last few months, so we'll get back on that next year. And we certainly will have some baby announcements to send out in January, but I skipped the Christmas cards this year, I must admit.
KING: Have you gotten financial support if any yet, insurance, something from the airlines?
BEAMER: We have our own insurance, which is obviously been taken care of, and my husband's company Oracle has, you know, been great with that whole thing, as well. The airlines provided initial amount to just kind of get you through the memorial service time. And I think it's a standard procedure that they do during a crash situation. And anything else from them, would have to be through litigation, so I haven't made any decisions about what sort of tact we'll take with that. But the United Way and the Red Cross are now starting to allocate their funds for 9-11, so we have been involved with that, as well, and trying to also share information on those things with the other families involved.
KING: I notice that pretty tree behind. Did Todd usually put the tree up?
BEAMER: Yes. We always cut our tree down every year, over Thanksgiving, and this year we did it a little bit later, but we did cut it down and bring it in. And, you know, Todd and I would usually put it up and we would all get together do decorations so we tried to keep as much of that as possible this year, and talk about what the different decorations meant, and each year we get new decorations. And when we go on vacations we try to find something for our Christmas tree that will remind us of our trip. So we talked about what -- where those came from, and the boys enjoyed it.
KING: So all the ornaments then or most of the ornaments have special meaning for you?
BEAMER: A lot of them do, and actually the ornaments that are on the tree this year. Probably only about half of what we have. My mom, actually growing up each year, gave me an ornament, and I have been doing that with kids each year. And like, I said, on vacations and different special events, we've gotten ornaments so we have a lot. But they do -- I could point to a lot of them, and say where we got them or what event they commemorate and that is kind of neat to be able to revisit every Christmas.
KING: But this Christmas, doesn't it make you sadder?
BEAMER: Yes, in a lot of ways it does. And each thing, everything is so bittersweet right now, certainly, you have all the loss to deal with and all the things that are not the same, and are not what you expected them to be. But on the other hand, you need to deal with that and consider that, but at the same time, also say I'm thankful that I had it. And, you know, look back on those experiences with a little bit of fond memory, and you wish that it wasn't the way it is, but you thank for what you do you have.
KING: More with Lisa Beamer at this Christmas time on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE, right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEAMER: This will be the best Christmas you ever had. I will teach you these things, follow your dad. Let's try the sled first, let's try the sled here. No, I know a better place, this is too near.
The best place to sled is up there, up ahead. I learned to sled there when I was a kid. Wait until I show you the things that I did. Now watch what I do, keep your eye on your pop! The first thing to learn is my great belly -- flop!
What's this, Drew?
DREW BEAMER, SON OF FLIGHT 93 VICTIM: Duck.
BEAMER: What's that?
Socks, can you say socks?
You have socks on, you are right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, SEPT. 20)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the normal course of events, presidents come to this chamber to report on a state of the union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American people. We have seen it in the courage of passengers who rushed terrorists to save others on the ground, passengers like an exceptional man named Todd Beamer. And would you please help me welcome his wife Lisa Beamer here tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're checking up on the life and times of Lisa Beamer at Christmas time, one of the tragic stories out of 9-11-01 that will never be forgotten. And she of course has gotten famous through that famous phone call she received. We will ask her about that later.
Are the kids going to get what they want for Christmas?
BEAMER: Yeah, actually they don't have a big Christmas list. David has made it clear he wants some hockey states, he's really into hockey right now. So he is going to get those. And they are going to get quite a few gifts from their family, and grandmas and aunts and uncles and things -- and I got them one of those big cars that can drive itself around. So they will be very excited on Christmas morning, I have no doubt.
KING: Does Todd have a lot of relatives, are his parents alive? Uncles and cousins?
BEAMER: Yes. We usually spend half our holidays with my side of the family and half with his side of the family. His parents, and grandparents, and aunts, and uncles, and sisters, and nieces, so it's a fun time for all of us, and we are going to keep that up this year.
KING: Where do they live?
BEAMER: They live down near Washington, D.C., so where we live in New Jersey is kind of between both of our families, and we are able to visit both sides over the Christmas holidays, which is very nice.
KING: I understand you made a gingerbread house and a train in the house?
BEAMER: Yeah, the boys -- the last few Christmases I have made with David gingerbread houses, and of course they love candy, so it's one piece on the gingerbread house one piece on the mouth. And this year Drew joined us, which was kind of an interesting experience. But they had fun, and like little kids just like to show off their handiwork and what they were able to accomplish, so it's a cute little thing that we got sitting around the house right now. Last year, my mom's dog ended up eating it, so this year David is concerned about our cat, but I told him that the cat won't eat candy, so that made him feel better.
KING: Are they getting -- are they used to seeing you on television, as you have been on so much, and seeing pictures of their dad?
BEAMER: They haven't seen too much of what's gone on. They have seen more of the print media because it is sitting around the house, and they don't think it's too odd to see us on newspapers and magazines and TV, just because who are they to know this is abnormal. But they do get excited when they see pictures specially of Todd on newspaper or something, they will say "daddy, daddy," and I have been saving as much of those sorts of things as I can for them, so some day I can try to make some sense or understanding of all this for them.
KING: Lisa, you are going to have to go on with your life, you are going to have another baby, you are going to be the mother of three small children. Do you look forward to the future confidently, are you upbeat?
BEAMER: I'm upbeat. Just from a personal perspective, I know that, you know, life goes on after a tragedy. My own father passed away when I was 15, and I saw the devastation that that brought to our family, but I also saw how we were able to pick up and move on from that, and certainly a defining moment of your life and something that will really affect who you are always, no matter what happens.
But it doesn't have to necessarily be a negative effect. Certainly, there is aspects of situation like this that can make you a bitter person or a better person, and I found that, you know, looking back at the 17 years since my father passed away, I think the memories of my family have used it to make themselves better people, and I have confidence that that is what I will do out of this, and my children will do as well. Not that it won't be without difficulty, but that's the goal that I see for all of us.
KING: What church are you a member of?
BEAMER: We go to Princeton Alliance Church here in Plainsboro, New Jersey. We have attended here since 1994 when we moved to the area from Chicago.
KING: And what sect is that, what faith?
BEAMER: It's a Christian Missionary Alliance Church, but we just try to follow what the Bible says and try to find out, you know, how it applies to our lives every day in the 21st century. A lot of people think the Bible is irrelevant to our lives here now, but we found that, you know, by studying it and looking at the examples in it, especially the example of Jesus, we are able to determine how to live our lives through tough times and easy times, and certainly no time more relevant to me than now about how to do that.
KING: So it is not Presbyterian or Methodist or Episcopalian?
BEAMER: The denomination is Christian Missionary Alliance, that is what it is called, but it is just a Christian church where we like I said just try to figure out how the Bible and...
KING: Does it send missionaries out?
BEAMER: Excuse me?
KING: Does it have missionaries that go out?
BEAMER: Yeah. Our church specifically has sent some missionaries out, and, you know, not just to Africa and places that are traditional missionary places, but we try to minister to people in our community. There is a lot of people who need help in every community, from physical needs to emotional and spiritual needs, and we try to find ways to minister to people right around us, our neighbors and our friends and all sorts of people who might need help.
KING: I heard that your church and you will assist in wrapping gifts for the children of people in prison, is that right?
BEAMER: Yeah. Every Christmas, we are involved in a project called Angel Tree, where we get -- put together with people in prison who are obviously not able to go out and buy their children gifts, but who let us know what their children's names and ages are and some things they might be wanting for Christmas, and then the members of our church go out and buy the gifts, and then we distribute them to the families as it gets closer to Christmas time.
KING: Did you not at all, Lisa -- I guess we have asked this before, but for those who may have missed it -- question your faith when this happened?
BEAMER: I didn't. I think, you know, I referred to before when my father had passed away 17 years ago, and I think as a 15-year-old I did question my faith at that time, and say, "God, why would you let this happen?" You know, this isn't in the plan that I had, and I don't think, you know, a God who loves you would have let this happen to me, but I spent quite a few years trying to think through that question and getting the right answer to it.
And I think, you know, led me to a place where I understand that just because I have faith in God doesn't mean that he is going prevent every horrible thing from happening to me, or take me away from the difficulties that this world brings to us, but that he is going to screen those difficulties and only allow those in that he wants to allow in, and then through the difficulties certainly continue to show his love for me and the promise that I'm going to spend eternity with him in heaven, and that is the perspective that I was able to get after a few years of grappling with my father's death, and the perspective that, you know, came to me obviously immediately on September 11 and has stuck like glue since then.
So you know, even looking back on the tragedy of my father's death, there is a reason for that, and if it was for nothing else than to prepare me for September 11. It was certainly a valuable piece of my life that I know that God orchestrated in advance for me. So I look to this tragedy along the same lines to say, you know, I don't know what it means for the big picture of my life right now, but I do just trust that God was in control that day and that he is, you know, taking care of me and loving me through this right now.
KING: Very well said. We'll be right back with more of Lisa Beamer at Christmas time, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEAMER: This are over the summer this year. Drew wouldn't get his picture taken without a baseball mitt in his hand, so we acquiesced to that. These pictures we put in last year. Drew was a baby, and David was about almost 30. So I may update those some time, but I think they are cute, even for now.
We just -- I got these pictures blown up you this fall, and I just kept them here so the boys can kind of come over and take a look when they want. And it's good, because they can come over and spur conversation about daddy and what was going on in the picture, and we'll probably leave them here for a while.
And that picture is David's birthday party last year, when he was 3. We were walking across the parking lot. It was at jamboree, and we were walking across the parking lot to get to the party, and Todd had a big box of stuff in his hands, you know, the food and the cake and everything, and he was walking behind David, and David turned around and he says, "come on, dad, step up to the plate, we've got to go, it's my party!" Well, guess where he learned that from? That was definitely a daddy phrase.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That one.
BEAMER: Jelly beans?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That one and that one.
BEAMER: Gum drops?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that one!
BEAMER: The big pieces of lickerish? Now what's gingerbread guy is you and which is Drew? Yeah? What are you guys doing at your house, at your gingerbread house?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to sit and play, and...
BEAMER: Was that what you would do, would you ride on a sled? No? Would you ride your bicycle in the snow?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) bicycle and Page is going to pull me.
BEAMER: Page is going to pull you, the kitty? Is that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What are your plans for Christmas day, Lisa?
BEAMER: Well, be with my family on Christmas day, and my mom and my siblings, and my sister-in-law is actually pregnant, waiting the first cousin for David and Drew, so we will be doing Christmas morning presents and turkey dinner and all the things that we usually do. Christmas Eve we will spend at church, and with some family time after that, and then the next day we are heading down to Washington to visit with Todd's family. So kind of what our plans were initially, we're just going to carry on with those.
KING: How are Todd's family holding up?
BEAMER: They are doing well. I mean, they have a similar perspective to what I have as far as, you know, their faith and -- but also, the same grief. You know, I don't know what it's like to lose a child, but I certainly know that, you know, Todd's parents are dealing with all the loss that comes with that, and the unfulfilled dreams, and all of that.
But certainly, you know, having David and Drew to look at as little Todds is helpful, and having each other to kind of lean on and talk to and deal with the problem together is helpful. I actually -- one of Todd's sisters is going to come from Michigan to be with me when the baby is born in January, so we are sticking together.
KING: That's really nice. What -- are you going to do pretty much this year what you did last Christmas with Todd?
BEAMER: Maybe a little less, maybe a little more subdued this year. I put some decorations out, not as many as usual, like I said, kind of cut out the Christmas cards. But, you know, for the boys, it is not fair to them to -- you know, kind of take the joy away from it. And truly, as much as I'm sad right now, you know, when I see a Christmas tree or when I hear a Christmas song, I can't help but get a little of that little girl Christmas excitement, you know, looking at them, getting excited about things. You can't -- you can't take it all way, and I won't let it be taken away, so.
KING: What's the...
BEAMER: ... try to kind of...
KING: It's really nice. What's the Beamer tradition? Do you open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
BEAMER: We do it on Christmas morning. Actually, we usually have three Christmases, we have Christmas morning with one of our families, then we have another Christmas with the other side of the family, then we come back here to New Jersey and have our own little Christmas, usually around New Year's by the time we get back here, but it is a week full of family and gifts and probably eating too much, but -- what the heck.
KING: You look OK. What do you want for Christmas, you want?
BEAMER: What do I want? I haven't even thought about that. I don't know. I just -- I just want to see the boys and see them be happy.
KING: Your husband was a great -- and I understand -- your husband was a great, great sports enthusiast, I gather.
BEAMER: Yes, he was.
KING: A big Yankee fan. Are the kids going to grow up that way, do you think? Is there a lot of sports memorabilia around?
BEAMER: Yeah. If you came to my house, you'd go in Todd's office and you'd see a mural of Michael Jordan on the wall and pictures of Chicago stadiums, Soldier Field and Wrigley Field. He has Chicago Cubs pinball machine, so the boys already were engraved in that, and I think it's not only from him but I think it's in their blood. They love all sorts of different sports, and I think we will carry on that tradition.
KING: Oh, he was one of those Chicago sports freaks.
BEAMER: Yeah. It worked out well for the Bulls; the Cubs not so much. But actually, this year ironically the Bears are doing well, so he would be happy to know that.
KING: I know...
KING: ... sports fan?
BEAMER: Yeah. He loved them all, particularly baseball and basketball were his favorites, but hockey and football -- he'd be happy to sit down and watch a game, and he loved taking the boys to games and playing sports with them, too.
KING: Now, what have people -- what has the public been sending you?
BEAMER: All sorts of things. My dining room since September 11 has been flooded with cards, and letters, and stuffed animals, and baby blankets, and baby sweaters -- and we had a gentleman who was in World War II sent his Purple Heart in honor of what Todd and the other passengers on flight 93 did. He felt like that was something that was -- that was something that they deserved.
And we had a gentleman from Vietnam who sent his Purple Heart, so people have just been -- done an outpouring of whatever their abilities are, or their passion or their hobby just kind of figuring out a way to use that to hopefully encourage our family and memorialize Todd in some way or another, so it has been an amazing outpouring from strangers.
KING: Must make you feel terrific.
BEAMER: It does. You know, obviously I have never interacted with strangers to this extent and had known what it's like and known where people's hearts are, but it's encouraging to think how many people are out there who just want to do whatever they can do to help, and they make you feel better at a time when there is not a lot that can make you feel better, but it's definitely an encouragement. I'm saving a lot of those things to show the boys down the road as far as what their fellow Americans thought about Todd and thought about the other victims of 9-11, and I think it will be an encouragement to them some day.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Lisa Beamer at Christmas time. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEAMER: Since September 11, we've obviously gotten a lot of correspondence from a variety of people. Some that we know, and a lot that we don't know, just sharing memories of Todd if they knew him or just their reactions to everything that happened on September 11. So, I have just kind of been stacking it all here, and I want to -- I haven't even had a chance to read it all, so sometime I will do that.
And obviously I'm going to save a lot of it for the kids to read when they get bigger. But people have sent all sorts of different things too. We had -- this family made some ornaments for the Christmas tree that they put Todd's picture in, and gotten of course all sorts of patriotic pins, and of course the boys have gotten a lot of stuffed animals. You got a lot of doggies and things, Drew? That's a soft one, isn't it? Yeah.
So they usually confiscate those and take them right upstairs to their bedroom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Courage and optimism led the passengers of Flight 93 to rush their murderers to save lives on the ground, led by a young man whose last known words were the Lord's Prayer, and "let's roll."
We will no doubt face new challenges, but we have our marching orders. My fellow Americans, let's roll!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEAMER: Of course those infamous "let's roll" words put on a variety of T-shirts and hats and all sorts of things that we have received from all over the country. so I'm going to keep some for kids, so someday they can maybe get a world perspective on what all this was about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with Lisa Beamer. What do you make of this let's roll craze? The president uses it. It was the last words used by your husband, related to the GTE operator. Kids have picked up the expression all over the country. There's -- there's even a Let's Roll Foundation, I think. What do you make of all this?
BEAMER: It's kind of funny. You know, Todd was in sales and he had an MBA in marketing. And I just keep thinking just on a funny note what a great marketing guy he was at the end. But that was a phrase that he used all the time, especially around our boys, and I wasn't surprised to hear that was his sentiment when he was getting ready to take on this -- this battle and take action.
KING: I understand there's a "let's roll" song coming out, right? The proceeds are going to go to the Beamer Foundation.
BEAMER: There are actually two. One...
KING: What does the foundation do?
BEAMER: The foundation is designed to do a couple of things: to lend any future support to the families of 9-11 that is necessary.
There are so many, obviously, young children involved in this tragedy, and we don't know what their future needs are going to be. But whatever we can do to help alleviate some of those we will do.
And then also to support some of the things that Todd supported when he was -- when he was here, and to continue that legacy that he left, particularly athletics and youth. He was involved heavily in both of those. So maybe being able to provide some support for those sort of organizations as well.
KING: It will provide assistance to the children of the flight victims as well? How do people contribute to it? How do you reach the Todd Beamer Foundation?
BEAMER: Probably the easiest way is through the web site, www.beamerfoundation.org. And it's b-e-a-m-e-r. And that's the easiest way to get more information.
KING: What contact have you had with the now equally famous Lisa Jefferson, the GTA -- GTE supervisor who spoke with Todd for a long time and then told you all about it?
BEAMER: We met in person once in Chicago, and then we've spoken on the phone quite a few times since then, just to kind of catch up and see how we're doing.
As much as obviously 9-11 was traumatic for people like myself, for someone like Lisa it was also life-changing event. And so we keep in touch periodically just to catch up and see how we're doing. We probably will continue to do that.
KING: Well, she's been quoted saying "it made my life worth living again."
BEAMER: Yeah. I heard that quote. I don't remember saying it. It was way back in the beginning.
But, you know, the first couple days after 9-11, not knowing the facts around what happened on that flight, not knowing what Todd's role was, was difficult. And having all that concrete information from Lisa as well as Todd's final message to us was a great encouragement and she was great person to have it come from.
KING: Was "let's roll" rather typical of Todd?
BEAMER: Yeah. He used that a lot, especially with the boys to motivate them to move on and do what they needed to do, whether it was to clean up their toys or get their shoes on or head out the door or whatever it was.
You want to kind of try to parent with positive things, so that was one of his positive phrases that he would use to encourage them to obedience.
KING: A couple of weeks ago, we did a show with you and five or six other family members from 93. Do you all keep in touch?
BEAMER: Yes. Actually, I have spoken a couple of the families directly on the phone, and we've met some at the white house and also at the crash site. And now Mark Bingham's mom Alice Hoglan has put together an e-mail newsletter which we get probably once a week to just keep up with what's been going on, and -- but a couple of the families I've talked to on a more personal level and we'll probably continue to do that.
KING: Why, Lisa, do you remain public like you do? Some people go quietly into the night with tragedy. Others come forward. You seem to have come forward. Why?
BEAMER: Well, I have certainly said no to most opportunities that have come up as far as media and things like that, because my primary role before all this and primary role after all this is to take care of my sons.
But I have gotten a lot of messages of encouragement from people who have heard the story of Todd and Flight 93 and then have been able to see kind of how I'm handling it and have gotten encouragement from that to deal with difficult things in their own life. So LARRY KING has been a big way to get that message out, and -- and so I continue to do things that I feel will continue to spread a message of hope to people and provide encouragement in difficult times.
KING: Are you sleeping a lot better now?
BEAMER: Yeah, I sleep great. By the end of the night I'm more than happy to put my head on the pillow after taking care of the boys all day. And I'm sure once the baby comes that will -- that will only increase. But sleep is not a problem for me.
KING: Yeah. With two boys running around, and...
BEAMER: They keep me busy.
KING: That'll get you going.
KING: What was the folded piece of paper you found on Todd's desk quoting Teddy Roosevelt?
BEAMER: It was a quote on courage that he had had. I -- I remember seeing it off and on through the years. I don't have it memorized, but it talks about how at the very least what one wants to do with -- with your life is to not go out just kind of without any passion, but to follow the road of -- even if it's most -- even if it's a difficult road, that will provide a great risk but also a great reward.
And certainly that's how Todd lived, for the most part. And certainly it's how he and the other passengers of Flight 93 died. They didn't sit back passively and let fate take its course. They took an -- an active risk and it didn't help them personally (UNINTELLIGIBLE), but at least saved a lot of other people's lives.
KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Lisa Beamer at Christmas on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEAMER: So what do you do if you are beaten-down flower? And the answer that I've come up with -- the only answer that works repeatedly -- is looking to the light.
And it's not a one-time thing. The flower just doesn't perk up and then it's fine forever. It's a process that continues and continues.
Storms come and go. And certainly September 11 was a storm in my life. But the ramifications of September 11 come to me daily in little storms and little clouds that come along. And if I don't continue that process of look at the light and maintaining my perspective on who is in charge and who it is who loves me and where I'm to follow, I'm going to stay as that beaten-down flower.
But I don't want to be a beaten-down flower. And I don't want any one here to be beaten-down flower. And the truth is that we don't have to be.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should never cease to amaze us that the great God of the universe loves people so much he chose to trade -- that he chose to trade his place on the throne in heaven for a feed trough in a stable and a wooden cross.
We celebrate because through Jesus Christ we gain access to not just heaven, but to a purposeful and meaningful relationship with Almighty God. It is our hope that throughout this holiday season we will look for the King, find him in the manger, and remember that it is only through him that true life exists. Life is different today than it was three months ago. We are more focused on what matters most: life in Christ. The answers are there and they are dependable. We hope that every present, light and tree will remind us of God's ultimate gift: his son, the light of the world who came to this earth to give life, not take it away.
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KING: A couple other things, Lisa. What do you remember about September 10?
BEAMER: Actually, that was the day we came back from Rome. So we had spent most of our day in a plane. And I just remember kind of having some quiet downtime to sit next to Todd and talk a little bit, which you don't usually get for hours at a time. So it was a good memory of our last day together.
KING: So you flew the last day you were together?
BEAMER: Yeah, we did, ironically enough. Todd -- we came home and Todd unpacked from Italy and repacked to go to San Francisco, and, you know, we quick got the boys in bed and went to bed, never knowing what the next day would hold. But it was a good last day together.
KING: Todd flew a lot, didn't he?
BEAMER: He did. Probably four or five times a month, he flew on average. It wasn't something we thought about.
KING: So you never were concerned. You never thought about it.
BEAMER: No. No. I really didn't. And, just, you know, I always thought he's in more danger going to the airport in his car than he is in the plane and I never worried about it at all.
KING: Do you remember anything about the morning he left for the plane? September 11?
BEAMER: I just remember hearing his alarm go off. I knew he was going to get up early, about a quarter to six that day. And I heard his alarm go off and I heard him in the shower.
But, you know, I usually tried to stay asleep. I knew that once the boys woke up I kind of had to be on my toes the rest of the day, so I didn't get up to interact with him at all, which was normal. But, you know, obviously, looking back I wish that I had. But that's water under the bridge at this point.
KING: You got a lot of publicity from making that trip to San Francisco on the same plane -- different flight number -- that Todd was taking. You glad you did that?
BEAMER: I am glad that I did that. I was definitely ready to fly at that point, and didn't really have apprehension for my own safety. And it's one more hurdle that you kind of get through. And then you say, "OK, I did that for the first time. And now I can -- next time it won't be quite so bad."
And that's kind of how the holidays are this year. you just kind of say "let's do them the first time, and the first time is always going to be the hardest. And then we'll be, you know, through that next hurdle." So that's kind of how a lot of these first things are.
KING: In a few weeks you are going to give birth, right? What's the birth date?
BEAMER: The date -- the due date is January 15.
KING: You don't know if it's a boy or girl, right?
BEAMER: No. We had the ultrasound in August, which I'm really glad that Todd got to see, but we didn't find out. With our first two we were surprised. And we just thought that worked out well, so we decided to go the same route this time.
KING: Are you leaning toward wanting a girl, having two boys?
BEAMER: You know what? In some ways I just want a boy to make it easier. They can all just wrestle together. But a girl would be a nice thing, too, so -- we'll just -- whatever it is we will seem right thing when it comes, I'm sure.
KING: You got names picked out?
BEAMER: We had talked about names, but we hadn't really arrived at any. So I'm just going to wait see and if it's a boy or girl, and then see what seems right at the time.
KING: If it's a boy, would you consider Todd?
BEAMER: Actually, Drew's middle name is Todd, so I don't know if I'll reuse that or not. Todd's middle name is Morgan, which is a boy name or a girl name, so we might use that in some way on either a boy or girl. But I'm just going to see what happens when it comes and what seems like the right name when I look at that little baby's face.
KING: How do you feel, Lisa, when you watch the news and see all the aftermath of September 11th; the Osama bin Ladens, the anthrax, Afghanistan, Taliban? How do you react watching that every day?
BEAMER: It's kind of hard to look at something that's as large a scope as that and then bring it back to my little world and, you know, the immense changes that -- that are in my world. And for the most part I've been dealing with my own personal things with this.
But certainly I have been happy to see the progress that we have made in -- in getting to the bottom of the terrorist situation and I think we certainly have a long way to go.
And I hope the bottom line is that we are never as complacent as we were before September 11 and never as vulnerable as we were before that. Because, obviously, you know, I know firsthand the aftermath of -- on one life, and I hope that we're able to prevent as many future attacks on any individual life as we can.
KING: I guess you know, Lisa, we felt like an integral part of your life these past almost four months, with many visits to you. And we certainly wish you the happiest of holidays.
BEAMER: Thank you, Larry.
KING: And we know that you're going to end this now by -- we thank you for coming. And you're going to go over to the tree, tell us about some things that especially touch you on the ornament side this year.
BEAMER; Well, there's a lot of ornaments that were Todd's from when he was little. I found this one that he made when he was about 10 years old. It says 1978 on it. And I think he was pretty cute.
And this is our ornament from last Christmas, our family picture that we had taken, and had planned to do another one this Christmas. That one is obviously really significant.
And then we have a lot that are from vacations that we took as a family. This is from our honeymoon, actually. We went to South Carolina and ate a lot of shrimp, so this is a little a shrimp boat.
And right before we had our first child we went to Europe, and this is from Austria. It's a little snow scene there. And every summer we take a vacation in Cape Cod so we have a lobster trap down here remind us of those.
And then there's just a lot that commemorate Todd individually that I gave him over the years. The Chicago Bulls ornaments. I told you he loved the Bulls and all the Chicago teams. We have a Cubs ornament down here, and a Wrigley Field ornament over here. And we have a football and a basketball and a baseball somewhere...
KING: What's on top?
BEAMER: ...over on the other side.
BEAMER: Actually this is -- this ornament is from our first Christmas after we were married, and then this an angel my mom gave us that first Christmas.
Before that -- before we were married I actually didn't have a top for the tree so Todd used to put a baseball cap on top. So my mom thought that an angel would be more appropriate. So that was one of our first Christmas gifts. But there's a lot of special memories on the tree this year.
KING: I would have liked Todd a lot.
BEAMER: You would have.
KING: Thank you, Lisa. Happy holidays to the boys. Best wishes for the child.
BEAMER: Thank you. Happy holidays to you, too, Larry.
KING: We like to close all of our programs with an upbeat note, usually musically. Tonight we depart a little. The wonderful Kelsey Grammer is here for all the kids, even my kid. One here, one somewhere. And this, of course, is Kelsey and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Enjoy.
KELSEY GRAMMER, ACTOR: 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads. And Mama in kerchief and I in my cap had just settled down for a long winter's nap, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I spring from my bed to see what was in the matter! Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon, on the breast of the new fallen snow, gave the luster of midday to objects below. When what to my wandering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer, with little old driver so lively and quick I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came. And he whistled and shouted he called them by name. Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall, now dash away, dash away, dash away all!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with obstacle mount to the sky so up to the housetop the coursers they flew, with a sleigh full of toys and St. Nicholas, too.
And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot. And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had flung on his back and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow and the beard on his chin as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth and the smoke encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a round little belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby, and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
A wink of an eye, a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread. He spoke not a word but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings then turned with a jerk, and laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod -- up the chimney he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
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