Bay Area Mom Recalls Her Son’s Heroism On 9/11

REDWOOD ESTATES (KCBS) – Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, a day that touched the lives of the entire nation and personally, thousands here in the Bay Area.

A little more than an hour after the first hijacked flight slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, air traffic controllers overheard hijackers aboard United Flight 93, from Newark to San Francisco, warning the passengers that they had a bomb.

Minutes later, a group of passengers stormed the cockpit, trying to regain control of the plane. Instead, the hijackers crashed it into the ground in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing everyone aboard.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

One of the heroic passengers who tried to regain control of the plane was Mark Bingham of Los Gatos, the son of Alice Hoagland.

“I think about and live 9/11 just about everyday. I miss my son Mark just terribly,” Hoagland said. “I welcome every anniversary of 9/11 because it gives me a chance to grieve publicly all over again and to commune and meet up with the folks who like me, lost a loved one on 9/11.”

Hoagland was a flight attendant for United. She has since retired and lives in Redwood Estates, taking care of her 96-year-old father and the many causes she pursues in her son’s memory.

“I lost my son and my life is all about the unfinished business of 9/11,” she said.

Hoagland fights for inspection of air cargo, a better no-fly list and for gay rights and school sports, as Mark was gay and a star rugby player at Cal.

“I had no idea I would be wearing four or five hats at the age of 61. I’m all about aviation security. I would like to help to reconcile the issues that caused Islam to become so radical and some of its elements to become so radical that terrorists would kill us on our own soil in the thousands,” she said.

Until 9/11, Mark Bingham’s greatest claim to fame was tackling the Stanford tree during the Big Game. Then he came up against something far more sinister and, according to his mom, true to form, he and others aboard gave their lives to keep United Flight 93 from its intended target, most likely, the U.S. Capitol.

“They died on their feet. They died fighting and that made a difference for America that day,” Hoagland said.

Almost 3,000 people died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the worst-ever on U.S. soil.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Doug Sovern
  • Agent P

    I’m not going to disrespect the mother here, or the deceased and his actions to thwart the hijacking. However, what has been stifled/censored/covered up – whatever you want to call it, is the facts from the eyewitnesses on the ground who saw this from above in detail, that flight 93 was shot down. Yeah, I know it’s ‘unpatriotic’ and all the other stuff – fine, knock yourself out. The fact that none of the eyewitness accounts of this crash have been allowed into the ‘official’ story speaks for itself. Much the same as TWA flight 800 over New Jersey in 1996.

  • Will Obinyan

    Please publish the names of all those we lost in TRIBUTE to their Families…and i truly support the DAY OF SERVICE as proposed by MARK’S Mother.

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