This ride segment is dedicated to:

Betty Ann Ong
American Airlines Flight 11

Betty Ann Ong was born on February 5, 1956, in San Francisco, California. She was the youngest of four siblings, a loving daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Betty had a kind and giving heart, always thinking of others before herself. She was a pure and beautiful soul with a zest for life. Her joy for life illuminated through the sparkle in her eyes and smile. Gifted with a sense of humor, Betty had a knack for making people feel comfortable and putting them at ease. She had a smile about her that could light up a room and lift up a spirit. She could feed laughter to anyone's heart. Betty was the very essence of compassion, of beauty and of grace.

Betty had a great love for children and senior citizens. On many occasions, Betty would drive a half hour from her home, into Boston, to have lunch and take walks with senior citizens. She shared stories about her far away travels with the neighboring children and often had trinkets to give them.

Betty worked as a flight attendant/purser with American Airlines for 14 years. She was a tireless worker. Whenever she worked a late night flight, she would never sit down and relax. Even when passengers were sleeping, she would walk down the aisles and softly talk to the passengers who were awake and provide blankets to those who were asleep. It would not be unusual to find Betty caring for a passenger's baby while their parent's rested.

On September 11, 2001, Betty was a flight attendant on board American Airlines, Flight 11, the first of four airplanes to become hijacked. Shortly after the hijacking took place, Betty called American Airlines ground personnel. With the help of her fellow flight attendants, Betty relayed vital information. She recounted the events that took place on the airplane and helped to identify the hijackers before the airplane crashed into New York's World Trade Center North Tower.

The Ong Family is very proud of Betty and the flight crews, who heroically gave their lives on September 11, 2001. They went above and beyond their call of duty and training. They were truly the first responders, defenders and heroes on that tragic day of September 11, 2001. They will never be forgotten.

Our heartfelt gratitude to Captain Thomas Heidenberg and the "crew team" for undertaking this noble and historic Ride Across America to honor the cabin crews and the passengers of American Airlines flight 11 & 77 and United Airlines flight 93 & 175.

In memory of Betty, the Betty Ann Ong Foundation, a not for profit public charity, was established as a helping hand for overweight and obese children. The mission of the Foundation is to educate children to the positive benefits of lifelong physical activity and healthful eating habits, and to provide opportunities for children to experience the great outdoors.

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