Remembrance: Post Mark Bingham memories here.

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    Sep 12, 2008 12:24 AM GMT
    On Sept. 11, 2001 Mark Bingham, as the story goes, helped lead the charge to storm the cockpit, foil the hijackers, and take down United Flight 93 before it was driven into federal buildings in Washington DC.

    My question is, did you ever meet him? What was he like? Share your stories. Even if you never met him, have you known anyone who's life he touched? Or has his story inspired you in any way?

    As gay jocks, let's honor one of our own (whether rugger/athlete, gay man, or fearless human being).
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    Sep 12, 2008 2:21 AM GMT
    XRuggerATX saidOn Sept. 11, 2001 Mark Bingham, as the story goes, helped lead the charge to storm the cockpit, foil the hijackers, and take down United Flight 93 before it was driven into federal buildings in Washington DC.

    My question is, did you ever meet him? What was he like? Share your stories.

    As gay jocks, let's honor one of our own (whether rugger, gay man, or hero).


    (*bump*)

    I'll start:

    His story inspires me to this day. I'll never forget his mother's speech to the hundreds of gay ruggers at the Bingham Cup in NYC back in '06. She had turned down a high profile appearance and speech at the Cannes Film Festival (for the movie "Flight 93") just so she could "be with her rugby brothers" as she put it that early Saturday morning. She was a matriarch to us all that weekend. It was so moving, and I think she made a point to meet every rugger in attendance. She was wonderful to talk to.

    But I never personally had the pleasure of meeting Mark. You?
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    Sep 12, 2008 10:14 PM GMT
    No I never met him, but he brought an aspect of the gay community into the spotlight with his sacrifice. Before Mark, did "gay rugby" ever make the news? And he was a Bear, not a popular sub-culture to some and unknown in straight media circles.
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    Sep 12, 2008 10:16 PM GMT
    He has a wikipedia page ..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Bingham
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    Sep 12, 2008 10:37 PM GMT
    John McCain and Barbera Boxer (senator from CA) presented a folded flag to His ex-BF during a memorial.

    His sacrifice, along with the others of Flight 93, brought alot of people together. He was the only queer to die that day, but he did stand out as "one of our own".
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    Sep 14, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    Crimthann saidJohn McCain and Barbera Boxer (senator from CA) presented a folded flag to His ex-BF during a memorial.

    His sacrifice, along with the others of Flight 93, brought alot of people together. He was the only queer to die that day, but he did stand out as "one of our own".


    I emailed the McCain campaign and thanked him for helping honor Mark Bingham in this way.

    I also said that Mark would (IMHO) likely not have supported his choice for VP and that he lost any chance of getting my vote.
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    Sep 17, 2008 5:38 PM GMT
    Thank you for sharing this information....it is truly inspirational.
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    Sep 19, 2008 2:10 AM GMT
    I met Mark Bingham shortly before he died.

    At the time, I was doing temporary tattoos in Jackson Square here in New Orleans. He walked up to my set-up and picked out a bear claw tattoo and asked if I could draw it on his shoulder. I didn't get a "gay vibe" from him really, and it's pretty common for a lot of straight men to ask for the bear claw, not realizing it's a gay symbol. So to gently steer a straight guy from unknowingly getting a gay tattoo, I always just say "you're getting this for courage, right?" Then I watch their response to see if they know what they're getting into. I asked Mark this question as he took his shirt off, and as he sat down he said "yeah, you never know when you'll need a little extra courage." He then winked at me and smiled to let me know he was aware of the meaning. It was at this point I remember instantly liking this guy. I remember I had to sit up very straight in my chair to reach his shoulder because he was very tall. After I finished, a friend took several pictures of him and his tattoo. The photo on the cover of "Hero of Flight 93" was taken of him showing off his bear claw tattoo immediately after I finished the tattoo.

    Well, 9/11 came and went and I remember hearing the name Mark Bingham many times but never put two and two together. Not until exactly one year later. A customer came to me and told me he wanted to get a tattoo from the guy who did Mark Bingham's tattoo and that he saw a picture of me doing Mark's tattoo on a Mark Bingham Memorial website. I said "who is Mark Bingham." Then I remembered.

    I had always felt like I knew someone who died in 9/11 because of how deeply it affected me. And after that customer telling me about Mark it all made sense. Even though I only got to talk to him for a few minutes while I did his tattoo and took pictures, he made a big impression on me. I meet thousands of tourists a year through my work, so for me to remember someone a year later really means something. When you're in the presence of some people, you just know they are good. And I know it sounds silly, but a part of me is proud to know he was wearing my "courage" tattoo when he was taking on those hijackers.
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    Sep 19, 2008 5:41 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidI met Mark Bingham shortly before he died.

    What a great story. You should send that into a magazine or something. I wonder if you could put it on his wikipedia page. I think anyone can submit information to it.
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    Sep 19, 2008 5:51 AM GMT
    Melissa Etheridge did a song about him:






    Even though I didn't know him, he did touch my life. And many, many others.
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    Dec 01, 2008 8:38 PM GMT
    I was waiting for a flight this thanksgiving and picked up a local news paper. It featured story of Mark Bingham and his mom. She talked about his coming out. They were driving back to UC Berkeley and he told his mom "there's something I promised myself to tell you before sundown today. I'm gay". I believe that took a lot of courage and I'm glad and proud just to know of him.