Monday, September 12, 2011
As you know, yesterday marked the ten year anniversary of the September 11th attacks in the United States. One of the perhaps lesser known stories, especially outside of the US, is that one of the heroes of the United 93 flight takeover was actually a rugby player.
Mark Bingham was one of a handful of guys that took on the hijackers of United Flight 93 that famously crashed in an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing the terrorists and passengers. The flight had been taken over and was allegedly heading for Washington DC.
Bingham was openly gay, and played rugby in San Francisco since his teenage years. At 6ft4, he could handle himself but according to accounts from family and friends, was a sensitive and outgoing good guy. On that fateful day he lost his life but saved countless others, as he and a group of athletic individuals wrestled control of the plane from the hijackers, diverting it's intended course of destruction.
The following video is a fascinating account of what took place, and how rugby played such a great part in Mark's life. "Competitive sports and athletic ability really made a difference for America on that day," say's his mother, Alice Hoagland. She has since been involved in the Bingham Cup, which is now one of the largest gay rugby tournaments in the world. It will be hosted in Manchester in 2012.
The lesson in all of this is one of courage, honour, and standing up for what you believe in.
You can find out more about Mark Bingham and how rugby shaped him at Withyoufilm.com
Credit: Thanks to Yahoo Video