In Recognition of the Heroism of Betty Ong
Washington D.C. - "Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute
to Betty Ong, a native daughter of San Francisco's Chinatown and
a hero for our Nation on September 11, 2001.
"On that tragic day, Betty Ong was a flight attendant on American
Airlines Flight 11 from Boston bound for Los Angeles. Flight 11
left Boston's Logan Airport at 7:59 a.m. with Mohammed Atta and
four other terrorists on board. From the time the terrorists took
over the plane until she lost contact, Betty remained calm and professional.
For 23 minutes, she relayed vital information to her colleagues
on the ground. The information Betty provided in that horrifying
situation later allowed the FBI to discern the identity of the terrorists
onboard Flight 11.
"In January of this year, the 9/11 Commission heard a tape
of Betty's urgent message. In its report, the Commission confirmed
that Betty was indeed the first person to report the hijacking.
9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean declared, ``Betty Ong is a
true American hero.''
"On September 21, 2001, a memorial service for Betty was held
in San Francisco's Chinatown where Betty was born and maintained
strong family and community ties. At that time Mayor Willie Brown
proclaimed September 21 to be ``Betty Ong Day.'' This year, the
Chinatown Community Development Center is again honoring her.
"It is with pride and sadness that I join in paying tribute
to Betty's courage and her heroism. I hope it is a comfort to her
family that so many people remember and honor her heroic acts."
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