9/11/2001: The Bravery on Flight 93

Leslie Griffith, long time reporter and anchor at KTVU, Channel 2 in Oakland, and multiple award winner for her work, finally is able to tell of the week leading to the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States, her own personal grief and yet, ability to break a major story about Mark Bingham and his fellow passengers on Flight 93.  It’s a long piece, and at first unrelated to the events of that day, but you won’t be wondering why you are reading it at all.  Guaranteed.

 Alice [Hoagland] and her family proceeded to talk. They said Mark had called early that morning from Flight 93. Alice said she was surprised by her son’s first words, “Mom, this is Mark Bingham.” She said she knew immediately something bad was happening. Why introduce yourself by your full name to your own mother?

Alice is a physically beautiful woman…tall, graceful, muscular, no-nonsense. She exhibited a great deal of balance in this un-contextualized chaos. “He spoke to his Aunt Kathy first,” Alice nodded toward her sister-in-law. Mark told his Aunt that he loved them. He said, “No matter what happens, I love you.”

According to the family, Mark added, “I’m on a flight from Newark to San Francisco, and there are three guys on-board who have taken over the plane. They say they have a bomb.” Mark saw only three hijackers. The U. S. government would later say there were four. Alice took over and told us it sounded as if some other passenger was talking to her son…interrupting their brief moments together. Mark asked his mother this question before they were disconnected, “You believe me, right?”

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