While Washington D.C., New York, and Shanksville, Pa. have been ground zero for public demonstrations in response the capture and death of Osama bin Laden, truth is that the long tentacles of tragedy reach directly into Santa Monica. On the horrific day of 9/11 nearly ten years ago, a manager at our local Gap store at Wilshire Boulevard and 20th Street, Ronald Gamboa, his domestic partner Daniel Brandhorst, and their three year old adopted son, David Gamboa-Brandhorst, perished aboard United Flight 175 when it impacted the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
I did not know these folks personally, but every time I pass through the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and 20th Street I give brief thought to their loss.
The New York Times described the family in a post-9/11 obituary. Ronald Gamboa was 33 years old at the time of death. His domestic partner, 41-year-old Daniel Brandhorst, was a rising star at the Los Angeles offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Gamboa-Brandhorst family was returning from a visit with friends in Maine when they boarded United Flight 175 at Logan Airport.
According to the Times obituary, the two parents attended the 1998 birth of their adopted child, David. Early on, they were somewhat unsure of their ability to raise a child but after three years raising David from earliest infancy, things were going so well that Ronald and Daniel were considering adoption of a second child.
The death of Osama bin Laden will not bring back the Gamboa-Brandhorst family. Hopefully, it will in some way help save future innocents from slaughter.