a True and Great Friend
Mark Kendall Bingham 1970-2001
"With You!"
In Memoriam
Mark Kendall Bingham
1970-2001

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Mark "The Great":

It was Todd's 30th Birthday, and Dave, Damon and I were headed up to Tahoe for the celebration. When we got to our cabin, what did we see? Mark had driven his Rover over the side of the hill! Was he upset? Nope. That wasn't Mark's style, to him it was all part of having a good time, and it was something that he "meant" to do. Later on that night we went down to the casino's in South Lake, and what did Mark do this time?? He slightly dropped his pants in the middle of the casino, and soon afterwards bought everyone a round of shots, which was another of his kind gestures that he extended to his friends often. The next afternoon we were on the deck of our cabin, and Mark was in the hottub sticking his deriere out of the water, meanwhile chanting "My bum is in the air, my bum is in the air," with that unforgettable chesire cat grin stretching across his face.

That was just one weekend with Mark, where he indeed exuded all of the qualities that everyone has been mentioning this week. Mark had extremely charismatic ways, a unique smile, sparkling eyes, and curled eyelashes that I will never forget. I remember my spirits being lifted when I knew that he would be at the same gathering, party or concert that I was attending, because he was "that guy", the one who made you feel important, like you were somebody special. Mark was nothing short of being almost "perfect" in every facet of life. He achieved many, many things, and can now remain as an inspiration to us all. Every story that I have read is true, and I too feel blessed just to have known him. He will indeed remain the "American Hero" in all of our hearts.

We Miss and Love you Mark Bingham,

Janell Hartman


I'm not sure who wrote this but I immediately thought of it when I heard about Mark. He was my first love and I will miss him terribly. I know that he is watching over all of us.

I am standing upon the sea shore. A ship at my side spreads his white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. He is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch him until at length, he hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone says, "There! He is gone!" Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. He is just as large in mast and hull and spar as when he left my side, and he is just as able to bear his load of living weight to his destined port.

His diminished size is in me, not in him. And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There! He is gone!", there are other eyes watching him coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "There He comes!"

We love you Mark!
Kristen


I met Mark my first week at Cal - welcome week, the week before classes.It was at Chi Psi, the place where Cal really welcomed me, the place I would find myself spending a great deal of my time at during my four years there. I remember formals and crashing in Mark and Tony's room, I remember walking the plank in Mark and Tony's room at the drink-a-room. I remember Mark and Tony waking Steph and I up in the middle of the night in our dorms when Pi Kap was on fire behind Chi Psi and 4 of us cramming in the smallest twin beds you've ever seen. I remember Mark carrying me home one night when I wasn't able to take myself home. I remember Luaus, I remember many many nights of talking and drinking and some just talking.

Then later I remember his 30th birthday party. He spent most of the night not focused on HIS day but on everyone else. Telling us how much he loved us, telling his fondest memories of each of us. I remember him dressed up as Brandy Chastain in the most ridiculous looking bra on Halloween. I remember him pouring Jaeger down everyone's throats at my white trash going away party and finding the bottles on the kitchen door jam the next morning and just smiling because that was Mark.I remember numerous bear hugs, words of affection, genuine love, a fierce loyalty, a man who truly loved life and would defend anything that was important to him. I remember one of the most incredible people I have ever know. I love Mark and he will always be a part of me. I hate that he is gone, but we all know that he went a hero, loyal and loving to the end.

Goodbye Mark. I love you. Go Bears!

Amy Callaway


FROM OUTSPORTS: We Remember Mark Bingham

All our best,

Cyd Zeigler Jr.
Jim Buzinski

To those who knew Mark Bingham, 31, he was a warm, friendly, smart, handsome man who welcomed people into his life. He was the kind of guy that a perfect stranger would feel totally comfortable talking to about life's deepest issues, and most trivial matters.

He was one of the passengers on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Shortly before the plane crashed, he was able to call his mother and say his good-byes. He had been flying from New York back home to San Francisco at the time. Mark was a member of our community. A graduate of the University of California - Berkeley, he was a member of the Golden Bears' national champion rugby team in the 1990s. After college, he played rugby with the San Francisco Fog, a gay rugby team in the City. He was also planning to field a touch rugby team for next year's Gay Games in Sydney.

We at Outsports knew Mark from two flag football games between our Los Angeles team and his San Francisco team. He was a terrific athlete, with the hands of Cris Carter and the strength of Daunte Culpepper. His spirit was even more impressive and memorable, his big smile and boisterous personality dominating the social events after each game.

Today we were copied on an e-mail, recently written by Mark, that he sent to his Fog rugby team in San Francisco, after they were accepted into the straight California Rugby League. Some great words written by, truly, a great man:

"When I started playing rugby at the age of 16, I always thought that my interest in other guys would be an anathema -- completely repulsive to the guys on my team -- and to the people I was knocking the shit out of on the other team. I loved the game, but KNEW I would need to keep my sexuality a secret forever. I feared total rejection.

As we worked and sweated and ran and talked together this year, I finally felt accepted as a gay man and a rugby player. My two irreconcilable worlds came together.

Now we've been accepted into the union and the road is going to get harder.

We need to work harder. We need to get better. We have the chance to be role models for other gay folks who wanted to play sports, but never felt good enough or strong enough. More importantly, we have the chance to show the other teams in the league that we are as good as they are. Good rugby players. Good partiers. Good sports. Good men.

Gay men weren't always wallflowers waiting on the sideline. We have the opportunity to let these other athletes know that gay men were around all along - on their little league teams, in their classes, being their friends.

This is a great opportunity to change a lot of people's minds, and to reach a group that might never have had to know or hear about gay people. Let's go make some new friends...and win a few games. Congratulations, my brothers in rugby.

Mb"

It is believed that the passengers on the plane that Mark was on may have had a role in diverting the plane from its target in, probably, Washington DC. It is also believed that Mark would have had an active role in that effort by the passengers.

From what we can tell now, Mark left us as a greater role model than he could have ever imagined.


Smell the coffee, watch the bright lights, cross that road, take that challenge, live your life. NY is surviving. I am still alive. The city was oddly quiet this morning as I walked to work. Business as usual. Our office is in Midtown on 48th and Broadway. International markets close for no mourning. But something is not right. The sky is still blue but not as bright, the slight haze of clouds or smoke blur the vision or is it the tears that sting my eyes. Yesterday morning the world was a beautiful place. Today I am not so sure. Mark will be missed so badly. I can not imagine how my life will be now that he does not exist. Mark Bingham - May 22nd, 1970 - September 11th, 2001. Life is all too short. We need to live for today. With no regrets. Mark lived for every moment. We had a fantastic weekend in NYC. Watching the tennis, celebrating my birthday and doing all that New York has to offer. The world is an amazing place. We never know where our paths will take us. We need to enjoy the ride. Stop along the way. Take our time. Remember what is really important to us.

It was a New York Cab ride in October 1998 when Mark and I decided we needed to live here. 11 months was all we had here. As reality sinks slowly into the pit of despair I know sadly I will survive. His memory will live forever. The world is a better place for having known Mark.

Amanda


Here's my Mark story.

Although I only met Mark about three years ago, that evening had a profound impact on my life. I had left the legal profession to write a novel, and I was getting a little stir crazy in my apartment, day after day. I mentioned this to Mark, when he asked what I did, and we spent the rest of the evening talking about work, passions, life, and other things. By the end of the evening, he decided that I should go back to work in the real world, doing the work he does. He felt I had the right temperament, and despite having no experience at all in the field of public relations, he gave me the confidence to go forward with it.

We exchanged contact information, and then over the next week or so, we worked on my resume, my "opening statement" and filling my head with a lot of current PR information -- the agency landscape and tricks of the trade. With the benefit of Mark's PR boot camp, I was able to respond to ads confidently and managed to hitch a ride with a small, growing PR agency in SF.

Mark and I stayed in contact, meeting each other socially, but we were surprised to bump into each other early this year at a wireless trade show in Las Vegas. Our clients had neighboring booths. He inquired as to what I was doing, and I told him I had recently become a director of that agency. His response was to give me a big bear hug.

Every contact I had with Mark was unusually generous, funny, respectful, and warm. We recently spent time in Las Vegas again at Joe's bachelor party, and he had a chance to charm a whole new group of people meeting him for the first time. By the end of the weekend, all of them were completely enamored of Mark, and considered him the life of the party -- but also saw him as a smart, capable, and loyal human being. It was good to see others admire him as I did.

I just saw Ms. Hoglan interviewed on the Today show, expanding that admiration, giving a national audience a peek at the great man who was our friend.

Thank you, Mark.
Jamil Moledina


STEVE WROTE:

My story about Mark is the weekend we spent together at Joe's bachelor party in Vegas, just a few weeks ago. From the moment we met, I was hooked. Here was this outspoken, garrulous, and kind man who clearly loved his friends, and knew how to have one hell of a good time. Joe's story about the Badger makes me laugh, but you know, it doesn't surprise me in the least. The clubs, the t-shirts, the stretch hummer limos, the breakfast we had after closing down Studio 54 -- none of it would have been even remotely the same without Mark.

I look forward to hearing more stories from the rest of you, celebrating this man, this friend, this brother, who was taken from all of us much too soon.

Peace.

Steve


FROM DAVE:

Mark, the only American I ever met who could drink more than me - quite a feat!

I knew Mark for what now seems such a short time - since his visit to Australia in 1999. The thing is though, I'd been hearing so much about him from his best friend Amanda over the years that I felt like I'd known him for years the first time I did meet him. But that's what it felt like to know Mark. He was such a generous, open man that to know him, even for the shortest time, was to have a best friend.

I remember when he came out here to Sydney last year, for the Olympics, and he had come straight from arriving at the airport, to help me with moving house. I remember at one stage there were two of us struggling with my sofa up the three flights of stairs to my new apartment. Mark took one look of us, then told us to step aside, took the sofa from both of us, flung it over his shoulder, and carried it up the three flights himself. He was such a big, gentle bear of a man.

Sometimes in moments of tradegy, the term "he/she was the nicest person you could ever meet" gets thrown around about certain people, as a way of conveying them as good person to know, a good friend. Well, in this case a truer word could not be spoken - he simply was the nicest person I have ever had the privelage of knowing during my time on this planet.

Mark Bingham, you will be sorely missed old friend.

Dave Rooney


From LISA:

Hello all - (thanks to Joe S. for adding me to the list) While watching ABC news last night, I suddenly realized that the Mark Bingham who'd been mentioned was our friend Mark. As I listened to Mark's mom talking to Peter Jennings I felt immediately sad, but I also felt proud in a strange way. While I know we will all miss Mark so much and he will miss all his friends and famiy in this world, I believe he acted with courage and he did what he thought needed to be done in the moment.

I knew Mark from Joe and Liz -- and then found myself working directly with Mark during our mutual time at 3Com Corporation in Santa Clara. Mark joined my product launch team (the "Typhoon" team) as a PR person and immediately contributed lots of very creative (and sometimes "out there" ;-) ideas. Unfortunately, we didn't work together more than a few months before one of many layoffs occurred at 3Com. When I got the news that my job was one of those being eliminated, Mark was very kind in offering to help me try to find a position in the PR group. We had a nice lunch together right before I left the company -- and I appreciated his encouragement and positive attitude very much during what was a difficult time for me.

My best to Mark and you all,
Lisa North
now living in Seattle, Washington


FROM CAM:

Hi Everybody. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that this email list has grown so large. Everywhere mark went, he touched someone's heart. Whether it was dressed as a 6'4" transvestite lumberjack, or in a jacket and tie holding a glass of Pinot Noir. He somehow always managed to work the word "Heinous" in there, regardless.

I know we're all trying to come to grips with this great loss. I myself find that I feel "ok" sometimes, then images of Mark come to me and I just break down again. Our brother had something about him that was easy to like. Easy to trust. Easy to admire. Easy to call friend.

Cam


"His Tomorrow Today"

I have a friend who has seen the Light
So close to Life from what would be death
And as Life is to death
He lived none as such
To include a demise past any sunrise
But only Life to the living
Beyond All Worlds
Forever in giving to the world
And forever in leading and Loving in Light
Seeking forward
He makes his journey wayward
Amongst the stars
That are his footprints
So he knows no death
He has never told that story
He has only known what takes us beyond All things
And such is his legacy and his glory
Follow his footprints
Follow the path
And you will see his tomorrow today

In Memoriam, Mark Bingham

Dan Albracht, Delta Delta '99
September 13, 2001

more info About Our True Friend to come very very soon!

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