Gay 9/11 hero's mom reacts to bin Laden death

The mother of a gay hero during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said Monday on NBC's Today show that the death of Osama bin Laden is a time for Americans to feel proud of the intelligence community and U.S. military.

Alice Hoagland, the mother of Mark Bingham, who was gay and slain during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pa., reflected on the demise of the terrorist leader.

"I think it is a point in time of which the American people can be very proud, which we can take stock in and realize how very valuable our intelligence community and our military are," Hoagland said.

Bingham, along with other passengers on Flight 93, was among the passengers who tried to storm the cockpit to prevent members of al Qaeda from using the plane to kill additional victims during the terrorist attacks in D.C. During the 2008 presidential campaign, then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who delivered a eulogy at Bingham's funeral, told the Washington Blade he identified Bingham as one of his gay heroes.

"I'm very proud of what Mark did along with his fellow passengers," Hoagland said. "A little group of guys in the back of a pitching 747 that took a vote and decided they were going to run forward armed with nothing more than their fists and whatever they could find on board to fight real evil -- people who were determined to kill them and anyone else they could on the ground."

I've really thrilled to know that this Gay American Hero is being acknowledged by the media and the world. I heard about Mark back in college but I thought this story would have a drowned in the media world but I'm beyond excited that it didn't. Gay or straight, the heroes of 9/11 really do need to be honored every single day - they changed our world.

When asked about how she felt about the death of bin Laden, she said, "the short answer is, in some way, I'm really relieved [bin Laden] has no one to face now except his God," Hoagland said.

I could not have said it better.

To see Alice Hoagland's emotional appearance on the Today Show, please click here.

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