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Tom Burnett
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    (May 29, 1963-September 11, 2001)
    Born in Bloomington, Minnesota
    Vice-president and chief operating officer of Thoratec Corporation, a medical device company based in Pleasanton, California
    Killed in a plane crash while attempting to foil and abort hijackers destructive plans aboard United Airlines Flight 93 (September 11, 2001)
    An injury shortened his football career at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Minnesota.
    He and a college friend secretly had a child out of wedlock. They gave it up for adoption shortly thereafter in 1985.
    His father, Tom Sr., initially rejected plans for the Flight 93 National Memorial because it looked like an Islamic crescent.
    He graduated with a degree in finance at the University of Minnesota.
    He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration at Pepperdine University.
    He and three other passengers aboard Flight 93 (Todd Beamer, Mark Bingham, and Jeremy Glick) valiantly fought against four hijackers who allegedly wanted to use the plane to attack the White House or the Capitol building.
    He posthumously received numerous accolades for his heroic actions.
    Eventually, the daughter he fathered out of wedlock began a close relationship with his widowed spouse Deanna and her three daughters.
    His story is a prime reminder of heroism and that life is too precious to waste.

Credit: Birdienest81

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