05-05-2012, 02:58 PM
Well done mb. I showed this to my wife and we both teared up. We have fond memories of Mark we just recounted to each other.
One story I'll share: I was a boarder at Mark's fraternity in the fall of 1990. The Chi-Psi guys were very fun to hang out with - very smart, athletic, and intelligent guys. MB was no exception. I was a boarder at "The Lodge" during my sophomore year and nearly joined - but ultimately pledged another fraternitiy.
About a year later - probably in the spring rains, I was invited by some of my fraternity brothers to play some mud football. We took over the Hearst rec field and tore it up. Mark was on the opposing side, and I found myself in the unenviable position of needing to tackle him. Definitely a big-guy (6'4) vs little guy (5'11, 160 lbs) arrangement. But I went all in, and made a text book tackle that I was pretty proud of (and got praise even from MB for). Only problem - I wrapped him so low that I took his knee right to the side of the head. Bounced back OK, but felt weird in the ear. Later that night, when clearing my ears by pinching my nose, I could actually blow air out of my ear. I had ruptured an ear drum. Healed up fine a few weeks later. That was my last personal memory of him.
I recall on 9/11, (or more likely 9/12, or 9/13) hearing his mom interviewed. At this point, I didn't realize Mark had been a casualty of 9/11. She recited/quoted him from the cell-phone conversation they had - and she imitated his voice so well - saying "Mom, this is Mark. Mark Bingham." When my wife and I heard the voice (not the name) - we knew that we knew who she was talking about. It was surreal. She had his dialect and voice right on.
I haven't shared these stories much - but always appreciate the way the posters on this board treat Mark's memory - and thought you may enjoy this.
Go Bears, and never forget.