ONG - 9/11 HERO
9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean declared: "Betty Ong is a true
He stated that "we have to remind ourselves of exactly what it was
like that day. . . wasn't just a tragedy but a triumph ... of heroes."
Francisco's Mayor Willie Brown proclaimed Sept. 21 "Betty Ong Day,"
saying, "When 180,000 San Franciscans say their prayers, they can
say the angel, Betty Ong, by name."
was expressed because this 5' 9" native of San Francisco's Chinatown
(a 14-year veteran of American Airlines and known to her friends as "Bee")
was a victim of the terrorists and the first hero of that fateful day
of September 11, 2001 where terrorist attacks killed 3,000 people in New
York and Washington, DC. in the greatest American catastrophe of modern
Ong Family (elder brother Harry, older sisters Cathie and Gloria and her
parents -Harry Sr. and Yee-gum Oy) can be genuinely proud that their beloved
daughter, and sister, was that rare person who embodied both exceptional
courage and uncommon kindness. She literally made the world a better place
simply by being in it. The many people who are familiar with Todd
Beamer's courage ("Let's roll") will hopefully remember Betty
On That Fateful Day
It was 7:59 on a radiant September morning when American Airlines Flight
11 lifted off from Boston's Logan Airport, bound for LA. On board were
81 passengers, two pilots and a cabin crew of nine. Sitting in Business
Class were Mohammed Atta and four fellow terrorists. Less than an hour
after take-off, Atta deliberately flew the Boeing 767 into the World Trade
Center's North Tower.
minutes of the hijacking, and despite the murderous mayhem on board, Ong
bravely grabbed a crew phone to call colleagues on the ground.
name is Betty Ong," she said after reaching the reservations office
in North Carolina, speaking quickly but in a tone that was remarkably
calm and lucid. "I'm on Flight 11." She explained that she had
been forced to the back of the jet, which was hijacked shortly after leaving
Boston on a flight to Los Angeles.
cockpit is not answering the phone," she said from a jump seat at
the back of the Boeing 767, calling to the ground from one of the crew
phones that she would normally use to communicate with other crew members
on the plane.
is somebody stabbed in business class. They can't breathe in business
class. They've got Mace or something. I
think we're getting hijacked," Ong said from her seat in the back
of American Airlines Flight 11 scheduled to arrive in L.A. from Boston.
"The cockpit's not answering their phone, and there's somebody stabbed
in business class. ... I think there's Mace."
Number 1 (attendant) got stabbed, our purser got stabbed; we don't know
who stabbed who," Ong said. "We can't get up to business class
because we can't breathe."
call came in to the airline's reservations office in Cary, N.C., about
8:20 a.m. that day. Nydia Gonzalez kept Ong on the phone for 23 minutes.
With a "calm, professional and poised demeanor," Gonzalez said,
Ong provided critical details, including the seat numbers of the five
hijackers. That allowed authorities to quickly identify them.
also revealed the terrorists' strategy of using Mace or pepper spray to
keep most passengers in the back of the jet andthe
stabbing of her co-workers and that the cockpit door was locked, with
at least some of the hijackers inside. She identified the seats the terrorists
had occupied, enabling the FBI to learn the hijackers' passport details.
first-class galley attendant and our purser are stabbed," she said.
"We can't get into the cockpit. The door won't open."
anybody get to the cockpit?" she can be heard asking someone nearby
on the plane. "We can't even get to the cockpit. Nobody can call
the cockpit. We can't even get inside."
there a doctor on board?"
was silence on the tape as Ms. Gonzalez listened to Ms. Ong's reply. "They
don't have any doctors on board," Ms. Gonzalez told the operations
center. "The aircraft is erratic again. She did say that the first-class
passengers have been moved back to coach."
were a few moments of silence. "Is anybody there?" Ms. Ong asked.
we're here . . you're doing a great job, just stay calm," Ms. Gonzalez
(an American Airlines supervisor) told Ms. Ong.
staying on the line as well," said Ms. Ong.
minutes after Ong first alerted the world to what was happening, the big
Boeing suddenly lurched, tilting wildly. She said the pilots were probably
no longer flying the airplane. The 767 approached Manhattan, flying ever
on the line, Ong said in a composed voice: "Pray for us. Pray for
later the line went dead.
Boeing 767 with suspected 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta and four others
rammed into the World Trade Center's north tower at 8:46 A.M.
Sean, (whose real name is Kamaljit - "but everyone calls me Nicky")
the 22 years old British-born native from Hounslow & 1st Asian Prince
of Pop/r&b singer & rapper, has become an idol for every Asian guy or
girl who wants to do something in music.
Asians, his star status is indisputable: in May 2004, 160 million viewers
watched him at the MTV India Awards. At the Mela, he
was engulfed by glossy-tressed young women with camera phones, desperate
to capture his sharp-featured good looks.
artist left medical school in summer 2003 to pursue a music career. He
developed a intense passion for hip hop and more inspired by the lyrical
skills of Notorious BIG, Fu-Shnickens, Treach from Naughty by Nature,
Grand Puba and Mobb Deep. This artist is putting Punjabi into the charts.
became one half of hip-hop duo `Compulsive Disorder', that developed his
rap skills and writing style that defined his distinctive "British
Wit" that paints a picture of his life experiences.
up, Jay listened to a diverse range of artists from traditional Bollywood
artists to R&B singers like Donnell Jones, Eric Benet, Boyz II Men
and Musiq Soulchild.
Christmas 2002, he was signed to Rishi Rich's (i.e. Britney Spears, Jennifer
Lopez) 2Point9 record label. Rishi decided to include Jay in his debut
Rishi Rich Project record – a project aimed to showcase up-and coming
trio which form the Rishi Rich Project: Producer Rishi Rich, singer/songwriter
Juggy D and singer/songwriter Jay Sean are all gearing up to release singles
and albums in the upcoming months and
continue their offensive on the British Asian music scene.
was signed to Relentless Records/Virgin Records in July 2003, the label
responsible for hits such as Artful Dodger/Craig David – Rewind,
Daniel Beddingfield – You gotta get thru this and Master of Ceremonies
– Do you really like this. The critically acclaimed debut single
"Dance with you (nachna tere naal)" featuring Juggy D reached
number 12 in the UK charts in September 2003 and paved the way for Jay's
solo project released in early 2004.
Sikh, Sean may not yet be fully practicing ("When I'm 40, I'd like
to have the beard and turban") but still prays every night and goes
to temple whenever he can. The biggest life change for him so far, is
trying to deal with the attention he attracts.
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