America Under Attack

A stunned country searches for answers

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The Attack

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Stories from those who escaped

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The First Lady and others share their thoughts

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America Under Siege
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A Nation Under Siege

September 12, 2001

New York City

Homemaker Sandy Silverman is the mother of Evan Silverman.

My daughter called just before 9 a.m. "Did you hear from Evan?" I turned on the TV. I was screaming. I thought the worst. When I saw the building ... I thought he was gone. He called my husband at work at 11 a.m., but I wanted to hear his voice myself. Finally he called me at 2 p.m. I said, "Evan, if something would have happened to you, I would have went with you." He said, "I'm all right, Mom." I said, "I love you." God gave him a second chance. It's like you're born twice. It's so sad, all those people. My son said one of his friends, his wife works there. He went back in to look for his wife. And now they can't find him.

Ben Fountain, 42, a financial analyst with Fireman's Fund, was coming out of the Chambers Street Station, headed for his office on the 47th floor of the south tower.

How could they let this happen? They knew this building was a target. Over the past few weeks we'd been evacuated a number of times, which is unusual. I think they had an inkling something was going on.

Mel Immergut, 54, is chairman of the international law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, based across the street from the World Trade Center.

My law firm employs about 800 people and (10 hours later) we have hundreds of people unaccounted for. At the moment, we have no way of tracking them down, so we're trying to organize a phone chain. The next step for us is to give whatever counseling and aid we can to our employees, some of whom have said that they're not sure they can work in a high-rise again. Then we're going to help others, like the law firms that were in the World Trade Center who no longer have offices to go to. My suspicion is that downtown Manhattan is going to be closed for a good period of time. The most amazing story I heard was from a friend who received an e-mail right before the first plane crashed into the towers, from a friend of his who was on the flight -- actually on the flight from Boston to Los Angeles. The e-mail said, "We've been hijacked." And a minute later the plane crashed into the building. The person in the airplane had one of those little BlackBerry portable e-mail machines, and sent his e-mail, probably having no idea the plane was going to crash.

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