WHEATON (WBBM) — Perhaps the two most famous words out of 9/11 were “Let’s Roll” – the rallying cry of Todd Beamer as he led fellow passengers on United Flight 93 to fight back against the hijackers.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Beamer grew up in Chicago’s western suburbs, where he’s being remembered fondly as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches.

“He was a quality kid,” said Stephen Clum, his former teacher, principal and coach at Wheaton Christian School. Clum said that, even as a child, Beamer showed the kind of initiative that came through on that morning over Shanksville, Pa.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

“Some leaders are very boisterous and are really out there. Todd was more of a quiet leader,” Clum said.

After finding out over the phone about the planes that had crashed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon, Beamer and his fellow passengers charged the hijackers of Flight 93 and crashed the plane before it could hit another target — likely the White House or the U.S. Capitol.

Clum said his former student and the others on that plane were heroes.

“What they did in a short manner of time after learning what was taking place and how their plane was probably going to be used, I mean, it was incredible,” Clum said.

Clum was on his way to Shanksville to take part in memorial ceremonies this weekend, honoring Beamer and the other passengers of Flight 93.

Watch & Listen LIVE