From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: In Recognition of the Heroism of Betty Ong

September 22, 2004

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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