flight attendant betty ong's final call

As part of its commemoration of the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, Boston's WBUR has been sharing the stories of men and women from around Massachusetts whose lives were touched that day, including those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

In this segment, we hear from Harry Ong Jr. and Cathie Ong Herrera, whose sister Betty Ong was a flight attendant on board Flight 11, the first of the two planes from Boston to hit the World Trade Center: 9/11 Stories: A Flight Attendant's Calm Final Call.

A decade later, it's still heartbreaking:
CATHIE: Harry and I stayed on the telephone for quite a long time and I remember him asking me where Betty was and I told him that, you know, she should be on her way to Los Angeles because I was going to be meeting with Betty later that afternoon. And Harry got very quiet and I could actually sense the concern in his voice as he told me that he thought he heard that the airplane might have originated from Boston, going to Los Angeles.

HARRY: You know, I’m hoping that Betty’s not on that plane, I’m hoping that of all the thousands of planes in the air that particular day and morning that Betty is just not on that plane.

CATHIE: I remember right at that moment my heart just sank.
The segment includes the voice recording of Betty Ong's call from the flight to the ground. She is credited with providing officials with the seat numbers of the hijackers, allowing them to identify the men early on. She was reportedly still on the phone, trying to help, when her plane hit the World Trade Center.

It's a sobering, powerful segment. The New York Times also has a selection of 9/11 audio recordings from the Federal Aviation Administration, accompanied by a timeline of that morning: The 9/11 Tapes: The Story in the Air.

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