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Flight Attendants Reflect On Sept. 11 And Its Aftermath

CHICAGO (CBS) — On Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of them put on their uniforms, kissed their loved ones and went to work. But 33 flight crew members never made it home.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez talks with a co-worker of one of 9/11’s very first victims.

American Flight attendant Pamela Hogue had a choice on 9/11: work Flight 11, or visit her mom. Her decision saved her life.

Her grief after hearing that Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center was captured in a USA Today photo. But she was awestruck by the bravery of co-worker Betty Ong, who placed an emergency call before the crash.

How hard is the anniversary for Hogue?

“I can’t even express that in words right now,” she says.

Flight attendants say their jobs changed forever that day.

“You’re to fight back,” Lonny Glover says. “Get in there and use whatever tools are at your disposal.”

After 9/11, passengers showed a new appreciation for flight attendants. But Glover says the attitude is waning.

“They’re a little more frustrated with the security that we have, but it’s there for a reason,” Glover says.

And despite the risks of the job, crew members carry on.

“We can do this, and we will do this and we will fly in honor of them,” Hogue says.

United and American flight attendants unions sent a message to members Friday, acknowledging their new role as the last line of defense against terrorists and calling on them to remember the lives lost on 9/11.

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