'Let's roll'...the catchphrase that captured America

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The Independent US

It was a phrase that summed up America's resilience after the attacks of 11 September. "Let's roll" – the final words of Todd Beamer before he and other passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 tackled the hijackers – was even adopted by President Bush.

Now, the veteran rock and country musician Neil Young has penned a song paying tribute to the passengers on the doomed flight, which crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

"I know I said I love you/I know you know it's true/I've got to put the phone down and do what we've got to do," sings Young, apparently in all seriousness. "One standing in the aisle way, two more at the door/ We've got to get inside there before they kill some more/Time is running out – Let's roll."

After Flight 93 was seized by the hijackers, Mr Beamer called a telephone operator and told her that he and other passengers were planning to storm the cockpit. Having recited with him the Lord's Prayer, the operator heard Mr Beamer put down the receiver with the words: "Let's roll".

Minutes later the aircraft crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing all 45 people on board but foiling the hijackers' presumed plan of flying it into the Capitol or the White House in Washington.

Young wrote and recorded "Let's Roll" with Booker T Jones, of the MGs. "You don't have to figure out what to do on a song like that," Jones told The Washington Post. "We were just able to pull it off." Though the song is currently receiving air-play, there are no plans to release it as a single. It is due to be included on a forthcoming album and Young has also made a donation to a Beamer family fund.

Last month, Mr Bush used the same phrase in a rousing address on national television.

"We cannot know every turn this battle will take. We will no doubt face new challenges," he said. "But we have our marching orders. My fellow Americans, let's roll."