The list of famous last words of famous people can be easily found. Most of the time it is not that their last words were so profound; it is their life that was profound! So it is in the profound life that changed the course of the world that pivoted on their last words. We will discuss the people who life and even their last words have been remembered in such a way that it has deeply held meanings.
This is not a treatise on whether you believe or do not believe in Jesus Christ from a Christian perspective. One thing, however, is certain, his life and last words have had an impact on the lives of many billions of people over the last two millennium.
His last words as he lay dying on the roman cross were actually seven phrases. However, it would appear that the last words were “It is Finished.” You can read these words in the Bible in John 19:29-30. It is these words that have had a profound effect on humanity because of the claim that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Those last words were that his mission on earth was complete, but maybe not. It was his reported resurrection that confirmed that his redemptive work was finished. Two thousand years of followers make these famous last words significant.
William Wallace was a Scottish patriot who lived from 1270 -1305. His life embodied the fight for freedom. He was a Scottish Knight and the son of a Scottish landowner. It was England’s King Edward I that declared himself ruler of Scotland after dethroning the Scottish King John de Balliol.
William Wallace started a resistance movement capturing the town of Lanark and killing the English Sherriff. The victories and successes that William Wallace and his army had against preserving Scotland’s freedom against England were from 1297 to 1305. On August 5, 1305, he was captured in Glasgow. Although it is not absolutely confirmed, it is reported that his last words were “freedom” before he was hanged, disemboweled, beheaded and quartered.
Twenty-three years later, Scotland gained its independence from England in the Treaty of Edinburgh in the year 1328. William Wallace went down in history as one of Scotland’s greatest and most endeared hero’s, so much so that the movie “Braveheart” was based on his life.
Martin Luther was a reformer of the Catholic Church. He lived from 1483 – 1546. He was a German monk who lived a very controversial life. Martin Luther challenged the practices of the Catholic Church partly by translating the Bible into the German language so that the average person could read it. He is especially known for his posting of his 95 thesis or complaints about the Catholic Church on the door of the famous Wittenberg Church.
He was seen throughout his life as a radical, even in the midst of gaining support throughout Germany and across Europe. He is seen as one of the early protestant reformers. His dear friend, Justus Jonas, in Martin Luther’s last moments on earth, asked if he still would stand firm on the doctrines he taught. His famous last words were “Yes, We are beggars. This is true”. His life is a testimony to the formation of the Lutheran Church.
On September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was on a flight headed for San Francisco. It was United Flight 93 and it was suddenly taken over by hijackers who we later learned were part of the 9-11 plot against America that took down two world trade buildings and part of the Pentagon.
Todd had made some phone calls when he learned what was going on. He informed the flight crew and those on the ground through this phone call that he intended on disarming the hijackers with the help of a few other passengers. His last words were “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll”. What actually occurred inside that plane is still unknown, but it did crash in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Comparing it to the other three plans targets, it is concluded that it missed its target of potentially the White House in Washington, DC.
These words were used by President George Bush 43 in his address on November 8, 2001, in a passionate speech for America to not be intimidated. He claimed that America will have ultimate victory because our cause is just. So in honor of Todd Beamer, he stated “My fellow Americans, lets’ roll.” That phrase has been burned into the American psyche ever since in our war on terror.
Although it is possible to come up with thousands upon thousands of famous last words, we thought you would enjoy just a few of those who impacted history in a real and positive way.