"America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: 'Let's roll,' " President Bush said in his State of the Union address. But the widow of Todd Beamer, whose heroism made the phrase famous, is worried that the wrong people are embracing the new creed. Her Todd Beamer Foundation rushed to trademark the phrase—but several entrepreneurs beat the foundation to it.
"We think it's horrible for people to want to profit off the events of Sept. 11," Doug MacMillan, the foundation's executive director, told the Associated Press. "If there's anybody who should be benefiting, it should be the victims."
But that's not to say the foundation will snub commercial opportunities. A press release says the foundation "is currently in discussions to license the mark for products from Coca-Cola, NASCAR, MLB, NFL, Ford, and other Fortune 500 companies." Let's Rolla Cola?
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The Todd M. Beamer Foundation Web site includes a message from Lisa Beamer, the mission of the foundation, and press releases.
According to a Slate.com piece, "Can you trademark the phrase 'Let's Roll'?", common phrases can be trademarked if it can be demonstrated that the phrase has acquired a distinctive secondary meaning apart from its original meaning.
"Let's Roll" is also coming to record stores near you as the song titles of recordings by both Neil Young and DC Talk.
President Bush used the catch phrase in his State of the Union address and also recognized Lisa Beamer, Todd's widow, in the September 20 address to Congress.
Previous Christianity Today articles on Todd Beamer include:
Widow of September 11 Hero Starts FoundationTodd M. Beamer fund established to care for children who lost parents on United Flight 93. (Dec. 3, 2001)
Beamer's Faith, Competitive Streak Set Scene for Flight 93 HeroismFriends say Wheaton grad's determination made him a hero. (October 15, 2001)
Active Christian on Flight 93 Hailed as a HeroWheaton College graduate and others "figured out how to do extraordinary things" aboard United plane. (September 17, 2001)
Media coverage of Todd Beamer and "Let's Roll" includes:
'Let's roll' rallying cry sparks several Web sites— Post-Gazette (Nov. 4, 2001)
Let's roll,' Flight 93 victim heard to say minutes before crash — MSNBC (Sept, 2001)
Hero's final phone call — BBC (Sept. 17, 2001)
The phone line was still open when Todd Beamer said: 'Are you guys ready? Let's roll' — Post-Gazette (Sept. 16, 2001)
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