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Attack on America
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Renee May
American Airlines flight attendant was aboard plane that hijackers crashed into Pentagon

Saturday, September 15, 2001
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Flight attendant to be honored

Victim of terrorist attack was Las Vegas woman's daughter


American Airlines flight attendant Renee May, the daughter of a Community College of Southern Nevada clerk, will be remembered Monday by fellow museum volunteers in Baltimore who saw her just a day before hijackers crashed the plane she was aboard into the Pentagon.

In Southern Nevada, colleagues of her mother, Nancy May, have been sending flowers and sympathy cards to the grieving family, which has asked for privacy. A local Mass probably will be scheduled after the flight attendant's parents have returned from services planned for their daughter in Baltimore.

"The college is very saddened by Nancy's loss," said Arlie Stops, associate vice president for admissions and records at the community college. "She is part of our family. We are trying to reach out and help her with some of the pain."

Stops, who runs the department where Nancy May works, added Friday that college employees who may not know Nancy May also have expressed concerns and offered help. For now, Stops said, the family wants privacy.

In Baltimore, flowers and a large photograph of Renee May will be in public view beginning Monday at the city's Walters Art Museum, where the 39-year-old flight attendant had volunteered since 1997. There will be a memorial fund set up to sponsor a lecture in her name. And fellow docents plan to share a moment of silence Monday during the volunteers' regular weekly meeting.

Renee May attended last week's meeting. The next day, Tuesday, she and 63 aboard the plane others died after hijackers commandeered Los Angeles-bound American Airlines Flight 77, turned it around and crashed it into the Pentagon. The flight originated at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Renee May called her mother in Las Vegas from her cell phone after hijackers took control of the doomed plane.

"We're still in a state of shock," John Shields, who manages the museum's volunteers, said Friday. "Everyone here loved her. When you met her, you wanted to be her friend. Renee was our youngest, and that made her special. The other docents enjoyed her youth and energy."

Shields said Renee May served as a tour guide for schoolchildren, the elderly and disabled patrons of the partially opened downtown museum, which is a month away from celebrating the completion of a $20 million renovation.

"We all regret that she won't be here for that," Shields said.

Renee May had been a flight attendant for about 10 years, was the oldest of three children and grew up in California, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun.

Terri O'Heir, an American Airlines flight attendant who lives in Stoneleigh, Md., told the newspaper Renee May was "just someone you always liked to see."

O'Heir added, "You knew flying with her you were flying with a professional."

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