Alice Hoagland, the mother of the Mark Bingham, who died on 9/11 while trying to prevent al-Qaida terrorists from downing Flight 93 on 9/11, said she was relieved at the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces.
"I’ve missed my son every day, and it feels that this is a little bit of closure for a terrible tragedy like 9/11," said Hoagland, who makes her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in Redwood Estates. Her son, a strapping 31-year-old, was believed to be one of the group of passengers who invaded the cockpit of United Flight 93, sending it crashing, instead, into a Pennsylvania field.
President Barack Obama made the announcement Sunday night, in a televised address to the nation. Bin Laden's death was the result of a U.S. operation launched Sunday in Abbottabad, Pakistan, against a compound where bin Laden was believed to be hiding, according to U.S. intelligence. After a firefight, a small team of American forces killed bin Laden and took possession of his body, the president said.
"It's been electric around here," Hoagland said.
When news began leaking out about the reason for the president's press conference, Hoagland said she began to hear from other 9/11 victims' families.
As the president's announcement reverberated across the country, Hoagland began to hear from more and more people. "A friend of a friend called me," she said. "Then a neighbor called me. Now family’s calling me."
Bingham grew up in Redwood Estates, outside of Los Gatos, and attended Los Gatos High School. On Sept. 11, 2001, he called his aunt and his mother, who was staying with her in Saratoga, saying that terrorists had taken over the flight.
Bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the terrorist attacks and the force behind the al-Qaida organization, was long believed to be hiding in the region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Calling bin Laden's death a "significant achievement," the president warned that attacks would continue and that the U.S. would continue its efforts, but he drew a distinction.
"I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam."
While there were reports of spontaneous celebrations in the streets of Washington on Pennsylvania Avenue, Hoagland said she wanted to maintain a sense of restraint.
"I'm trying to temper the news with sobering thought that there might be some kind of ugly backlash," she said.
You can watch the president's address here.