|Mark Bingham was a gay man who lost his life on 9/11 while helping to stop the terrorists from taking more lives.|
The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is coming up on Saturday and our nation will mourn the lives lost in that awful terrorist attack. Lou Chibbaro Jr. and the Los Angeles Blade reminds us that the LGBTQ lives were also taken on that awful day:
A total of 2,996 people died in the 9/11 attacks, including 19 terrorists who hijacked four jetliners whose passengers included Americans and citizens of 78 countries, according to history.com.. . . Among those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks was American Airlines co-pilot David Charlebois, an out gay man and member of the National Gay Pilots Association, who was on American Airlines Flight 77, which the terrorists crashed into the Pentagon.Also among the terrorists’ victims in the 9/11 attacks was public relations executive and rugby enthusiast Mark Bingham of San Francisco, who contacted his mother by cell phone shortly before the United Airlines jet he was taking from Newark, N.J. to San Francisco crashed into the countryside in western Pennsylvania.Surviving family members of other passengers on that flight have said they too were called by their loved ones who told them some of the passengers were planning an attempt to somehow regain control of the jet from the terrorists.Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoagland, who at the time was a United Airlines flight attendant, said she believed her son joined other passengers to prevent the terrorists from carrying out what authorities said was their plan to crash the jet into the U.S. Capitol or possibly the White House. She said her son’s reputation as a fighter for civic justice, along with a past episode where he fought off muggers, led her to believe he was among those who foiled the terrorists’ plans to fly the jet to Washington.An investigation into the 9/11 attacks by a federal 9/11 commission later found that flight data recordings from the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93, where Bingham was among 44 people aboard, showed that one of the four hijackers who took control of the jetliner shortly after its takeoff responded to an attempt by passengers to storm the cockpit by deliberately steering the plane into a downward direction at about 500 miles per hour, causing it to crash into an empty field near the town of Shanksville in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. All 44 people were killed.