May 2, 2011 | by Chris Johnson
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 the death of Osama bin Laden is a time for Americans to feel proud of the intelligence community and U.S. military.

During an appearance NBC’s “Today Show,” 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.

Hoagland said during her “Today Show” appearance that she continues to be proud of Bingham and other passengers in their work in redirecting Flight 93 from its intended target.

“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.”

Additionally, Hoagland praised both President Obama and former President George W. Bush for their work into attempting to find bin Laden and bring him to justice.

“Barack Obama has been real friend to the 9/11 families and he’s working hard to fulfill the promises that he has made,” Hoagland said. “And George W. Bush deserves a great deal of credit. He promised the 9/11 families that he would not relent in his effort to find the perpetuators of the bloodshed of 9/11,” she said.

Hoagland added that she would have liked to have seen bin Laden stand trial from his crimes, but said she’s lost faith in the Article III courts because she said “certain liberal groups following their own agenda have taken the essence 9/11 struggle out of the hands of the families, and that is a travesty.”

Controversy has ensued over whether to try the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist suspects in military or civilian courts, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has recently said the suspects would be tried in military tribunals.

“The short answer is, in some way, I’m really relieved [bin Laden] has no one to face now except his God,” Hoagland said.

[h/t LGBT POV]

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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