The big difference between remembering those lost in the horrific Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington DC and the passenger-forced plane crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania is that this year, on orders from President Obama, Seal team 6 killed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. While we usually elaborate on the LGBT victims of the attacks such as Pop Luck Club/LA Founders Daniel Brandhorst, Ronald Gamboa and their son David Reed Gamboa, who died when their United Flight 175 from Boston to Los Angeles flew into the Second Tower or gay soccer player and businessman Mark Bingham - who helped save the US Capitol by helping crash United Flight 93 (please visit Angelfire.com for the names of all LGBT victims and heroes of Sept. 11, 2001) – this year I’m hoping that you can meditate on the photos and use your own imagination about the horror of that day. Visually, I underscore only one gay person – Father Mychal Judge, considered the first victim of the attacks – and a person who perished anonymously, representing all the people in the buildings and on the ground and their grief-stricken family and friends. Osama Bin Laden might be dead – but I still remember where I was when I saw the planes strike the towers; I still feel the anguish today. The terrorist might be dead but that horror, that terror – and the will and hope to overcome it – still lives on.(At 8:45:30 Eastern time, Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. At 9:03:02, Flight 175 hits the South Tower.) (This is the plane carrying Daniel Brandhorst, Ronald Gamboa and their son David Reed Gamboa.) (At 9:58:59, the South Tower begins to collapse, 56 minutes after being hit by Flight 175.) (Openly gay Father Mychal Judge, Chaplain of the Fire Department of New York, went to the command post in the North Tower to be of service. When the South Tower collapsed, he was killed by debris that flew into the lobby. Judge was carried to St. Peter’s Church, where he was certified as the first official victim of the attacks; 2,985 people died, including the 19 terrorists.) (The iconic Twin Towers at the World Trade Center are gone.) (At 9:37:46: Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon. Prop 8 fighter Ted Olson’s wife Barbara is on this flight) (At 10:03:11: United Airlines Flight 93 is crashed by its passengers, including openly gay Mark Bingham, in Shanksville, PA) (Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden claims credit for the attacks) ( On May 2, 2011, President Obama announces that the United States killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda) (On May 5, 2011, President Obama thanks the Navy Seals and lays a wreath at Ground Zero.
Remembering Sept. 11, 2001 in Photos
(Manhattan’s two iconic markers before Sept. 11, 2001: The Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center)