French President Francois Hollande bids farewell to U.S. Airman Spencer Stone as U.S. National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos of Roseburg, Ore., second from left, and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California, right, look on at the Elysee Palace in Paris after Hollande awarded them with the French Legion of Honor on Monday. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Editorial: The spirit of ‘Let’s roll’ lives on

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“Let’s go.”

That is what Alek Skarlatos, an American, said to Spencer Stone, another American, aboard a Paris-bound train on Friday when they saw a gunman running down the aisle.

The two friends tackled the alleged assailant, Ayoub El-Khazzani, who was armed with a Kalashnikov, an automatic pistol and a box cutter. A third friend, Anthony Sadler — also an American — helped them subdue the apparent terrorist.

In times of crisis, Sadler later told French reporters, “do something …. Don’t just stand by and watch.”


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We are reminded, of course, of an almost identical call to action 14 years ago next month: “Let’s roll.”

That is what Todd Beamer, a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93, famously said when he and others tried to take back the plane from 9/11 hijackers.

They were not successful. The plane was crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa.

But Beamer and his fellow passengers were heroes. American heroes.

We can’t help but wonder if Beamer’s spirit flowed through three more American heroes on Friday.

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