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Mother of 9/11 Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham outspoken on gay rights, other causes

LOS GATOS, Calif. -- Alice Hoagland has her causes, five of them exactly, which she recites precisely and without prompting. Improving airline safety. Eradication of terrorism. Promoting world peace. Protecting the rights of gays and lesbians. Encouraging communities, schools and families to increase support for youth sports.

She likes to say she speaks with the full-throated roar of her late son, Mark Bingham, a gay man who loved rugby, an only child who adored his mother.

Ten years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks, almost everyone has heard about Mark Bingham. And Todd Beamer and Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick. The four men are widely believed to have led the passenger insurrection that sent United Flight 93 plunging into a deserted field near Shanksville, Pa., killing all 44 aboard but thwarting the terrorists' plot to destroy the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Courage never becomes outdated. Bingham, Beamer, Burnett and Glick have been portrayed as heroes in films, stories, books and newspapers.

As the 10-year anniversary approaches, Hoagland says that the men were exceptionally brave, but suspects other passengers also conspired against the hijackers, and warns that apportioning credit and limiting praise only causes pain. For those intimately affected by the tragedy, the wounds are forever.

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