FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Monday marked 22 years since the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, a day when the Central Valley remembered and honored two local men who lost their lives in the attacks.

A 9/11 Ceremony of Remembrance was held at Todd Beamer Park – a park named for a Fresno State graduate who had a pivotal role in the story of United Airlines Flight 93. Of the four aircraft hijacked on September 11, United Airlines Flight 93 was the only one that did not reach its intended target.

Todd Beamer was a physical therapy major at Fresno State in 1987 and 1988 and a walk-on with the university’s baseball team. He is considered a hero not only in the community – but across the country. On board United Airlines Flight 93, the flight that crashed in Shanksville, Penn., on Sept. 11, 2001, Beamer used an onboard telephone to call a GTE operator and let her know what was happening on the plane. He and the operator, Lisa Jefferson, together recited “The Lord’s Prayer” and the 23rd Psalm.

At the end of a 13-minute conversation, Beamer put down the handset but left the line open. The last words that the operator heard were his — “God help me. Jesus help me. Are you ready guys? Let’s roll!”

Todd Beamer is memorialized with a tree in the Peace Garden and on Bulldog Walkway at Fresno State, located at the Save Mart Center along with another Fresno State graduate, Otis Vincent Tolbert, Jr. Tolbert also died on September 11, when another hijacked airplane was flown into the Pentagon where Tolbert worked for the U.S. Navy.

Tolbert was a Lemoore High School graduate who played for the Fresno State Bulldogs football team from 1980 to 1983.

Reports state that Tolbert was working in the C corridor on the first floor of the Pentagon when the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into his office in the Department of Defense building in Arlington, VA. He was one of 125 Pentagon personnel killed or unaccounted for in the terrorist attack. 

Monday’s memorial at Todd Beamer Park was hosted by Teens That Care. The event will honor Todd Beamer and all those who lost their lives, in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Air Support Helicopter did a flyover and landed at Todd Beamer Park.

Teens That Care is a non-profit organization of 101 local high school teens who have all committed to volunteering a minimum of 30 hours per year in the community.

The 9/11 Ceremony of Remembrance was held on Monday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Todd Beamer Park, 1890 E. Plymouth Way Fresno.