At 8:20 a.m. on September 11, 2001, Betty Ann Ong spoke softly on an earphone from behind American Airlines Flight 11.
Calm and business-like, he told the ground staff: “The cockpit isn’t responding. Someone has stabbed the business class – and I think there’s an asshole; I think we’re being hijacked.”
The 45-year-old daughter was asked to work an extra shift on Flight 11 from Boston’s Logan Airport to Los Angeles, so she could spend the weekend with her sister Kathy in Hawaii. But 14 minutes after takeoff, the hijacked plane took a U-turn and headed for New York City.
Thanks to Betty’s powerful phone call, the world knows that terrorists severely injured flight attendants Karen Martin and Bobby Aristagui, cut the throat of business class passenger Daniel Lyon and “blocked their way” in the cockpit. Where they possibly killed the co-pilots. John Ogunowski and Thomas McGuinness Jr.
We also know that they sprayed the donkey – which was forbidden on the flights – and the passengers got into the coach to avoid the toxic fumes as the plane accidentally flew towards the NYC skyline.
Authorities were able to quickly identify the five hijackers as daughter and fellow attendant Madeleine Sweeney. Men’s seat numbers relayed..
Ong’s last words: “Pray for us. Pray for us.” Flight 11 collided with the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m.
“My sister gave her life for her country on September 11,” Kathy Ong Herrera, one of the daughter’s two older sisters, told The Post.
The daughter, whose mother emigrated from China, was born in San Francisco and was the youngest of four siblings.
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With her slender figure and beautiful face, Betty was once approached about modeling, but her mother embarrassed her. Instead, the then-22-year-old girl stood in her parents’ beef jerk factory, where she showed signs of severe nerves.
“One day the store was closed,” said Kathy. The daughter was in front with a gun to her head. My mother said she was never nervous. All he said was, ‘Dad, we’re coming back.’ ‘
They looted money and the robbers left. “She was never shaken.”
Nearly a decade later, in 1987, Betty was driving south of San Francisco for ڈالر 101 when she saw a Honda slip twice in a speeding pickup.
The daughter and another motorcyclist helped immediately. “I know you! I know you! The two met a month ago on the local bowling alley.
“Courage, kindness, compassion,” Chew told his daughter’s post. “Most people just pass by. But stop me and run away? A miracle!”
Betty had wanted to travel since she was a child – sometimes at San Francisco International Airport just to watch the planes take off – but her parents were always busy. As a flight attendant, she managed to take her sisters to places like China, Japan, Hawaii, Canada and England.
“Betty often went to San Francisco to see her family,” said Michelle Brauli Ferragamo, a co-worker. The rest of the staff can mention dinner plans, but Betty says, ‘Have fun – I’m going home.’ ‘
On September 11, 2001, when news of the first plane’s flight reached the World Trade Center, Betty’s siblings tried desperately to reach her. First, the airline staff assured her that she was not on Flight 11.
But then the family heard about a brave present who provided information from the plane. “I said to myself, ‘This must be the daughter,'” Kathy reminded me.
He learned about his daughter’s bravery two more weeks later at her memorial – where Chew, the driver who helped her, sang Whitney Houston’s “Hero.”
A woman introduces herself to Kathy, Nadia Gonzalez, an American Airlines employee. “I am the person who spoke to your sister. [from the ground]He told Kathy.
“You need to be very proud of your sister. She calmly provided a lot of information.
That’s when the Ong family learned of the recording of their daughter’s conversation with American Airlines ground staff.
When asked to listen, Kathy said the airline said the FBI would not allow it.
“I was angry,” Kathy said. “We wanted to know the truth about what happened to our sister.”
Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts received the results of the call, he recalled. The next day, American Airlines called me and asked, ‘When and where do you want to listen to Betty’s tape?’ ‘
The family listened in frustration. Recording Revealed that the ground staff did not immediately understand the seriousness of the daughter’s call and kept asking the same questions, wasting precious time. While the call was heartbreaking, the family is happy that it was captured on tape.
Sister Gloria Ong said, “I am so grateful to know the last few minutes of my daughter’s life.”
In 2004, the Ong family formed a foundation in honor of the daughter. It funds summer camps for children and social programs for seniors at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco.
“We continue to keep her legacy alive with the work we’re doing,” Kathy said. “We want to mirror who the daughter was.”