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Terrorist Attack: Industry Stories of Pain and Healing Following 9-11

SNEWS® continues to post your stories, experiences, and other items related to the tragic terrorist attacks Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 in New York and Washington D.C. Please email us at so everyone in both the outdoor and fitness industries can either share your experiences with you, know you're safe, applaud your donations, support you in any losses, and generally be there to help.

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Presented by SNEWS®

Industry Stories from the Terrorist Attack

9/12/01, 9/13/01, 9/14/01, 9/15/01, 9/17/01, 9/18/01, 9/19/01, 9/21/01, 9/22/01, 9/24/01, 10/2/01,


SNEWS® continues to post your stories, experiences, and other items related to the tragic terrorist attacks Tuesday in New York and Washington D.C. Please email us at so everyone in both the outdoor and fitness industries can either share your experiences with you, know you’re safe, applaud your donations, support you in any losses, and generally be there to help.


Into The Belly of The Beast

— A Personal Journey to “Ground Zero”

By Jeff Blumenfeld, owner of Blumenfeld & Associates, a public relations and special events marketing group

For almost 20 years, AmeriCares, the international non-profit relief agency, has shipped critically needed medical supplies, food and clothing to the far corners of the earth. Their ubiquitous red-white-and-blue flag logo has become a symbol of hope to victims of earthquake, famine, drought, and floods.

But never before has AmeriCares responded to a disaster as massive — and as close — as the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, just 50 miles from the organization’s New Canaan, Conn. headquarters.

Within hours of the attack, an AmeriCares shipment of medical supplies raced to Manhattan on a hastily loaded Blackhawk helicopter. Since then, relief workers have shuttled van loads of outdoor gear almost daily to both the WTC site and to investigators at the Staten Island landfill where the

debris is being trucked.

After volunteering to accompany a shipment of outdoor clothing and boots to New York, I found myself within 60 minutes in the belly of the beast: the Wall Street area now infamously nicknamed Ground Zero. As we headed south on the FDR Drive, our two Chevy vans passed through three separate checkpoints manned by a phalanx of NYPD officers and New York State Troopers. From the FDR we headed west along the frozen zone – a dedicated emergency vehicle lane.

Overhead signs had been changed to read “Police/Fire Vehicles Only” and appeared now to be a permanent part of the highway landscape, evidence that life in this part of New York will be changed for a long time to come.

It’s been 2 weeks now and yet people still line the emergency lanes to applaud rescue workers and wave flags. The final police barricade we passed was just outside St. Paul’s Chapel, miraculously spared despite a blast so massive, it cracked heavy concrete planters a block away.

We back our vans into place before the watchful eyes of dozens of spectators across the street who are repeatedly warned by police and National Guardsmen not to take photos of the aftermath of this unprecedented tragedy.

Relief workers and police officers -– all eager to talk about what they’ve been through –- praised the support they were receiving, particularly from the outdoor industry. “I’ve never seen such great cooperation in my life,” said Kevin Kelly, A New York detective temporarily re-assigned from Bronx Narcotics. Kelly was trying on a new pair of steel-tipped Timberland boots to replace his own footwear he says was “trashed” by the rubble of twisted girders, concrete chunks, and rebar lying in waste just a block away.

We unloaded boxes of Arc’Teryx jackets donated by W.L. Gore & Associates, boots from Timberland, LaCrosse, and Sportiva (donated by The North Face), and Patagonia sweatshirts. It was just a fraction of the 5,000 boots, 26,000 pairs of socks, 500 tents, 4,000 water hydration systems, among other things, donated by more than 50 outdoor manufacturers since Sept. 11.

AmeriCares took great pains to ensure that donated gear was distributed in a secure area accessible only to relief workers. In fact, special passes were required to even get near St. Paul’s, where George Washington worshipped and where today cots line the wall for exhausted police and firefighters. The boots weren’t just handed out, they were carefully fit by a team of podiatrists who provided medical care to strained, blistered, and calloused feet. Charles Ross, dean of admissions and student affairs of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, told me they received calls from podiatrists from throughout the country eager to fly to New York to assist.

The quantity of donated supplies was an indication of the country’s need to help in some way. Tables were lined with eye wash, bandages, flashlights, hand lotion, face masks, water, and snacks -– all there for the taking. Even McDonald’s, God bless them, established a mobile restaurant and was handing out free Big Macs under The Golden Arches sign atop a telescoping pole.

With the vans now unloaded, we donned hardhats and walked past another checkpoint –- this one manned by National Guardsmen in respirators — to witness the devastation first-hand. Round-the-clock news coverage of the past few weeks can’t begin to describe 12-15 city blocks of devastation – the 110-story buildings now mostly smashed into the six stories of shops, parking lots, and train stations that were beneath the surface.

For me, I’ll remember not so much the destruction, but the little things: the words “God Bless America” written on a deserted store window by a finger dipped in ash, the smell in the air -– like a campfire recently doused, and the portable cell towers erected to coax life out of buried cell phones undoubtedly low on power, if not crushed outright. And I’ll remember the dirty, gray ash that still covered building facades and awnings, as if a horrific volcanic eruption had occurred nearby.

Thirty years ago, it took eight years to build the World Trade Center, yet last month it only took minutes to take it down. They say it’ll be nine months to a year just before the debris is removed and all the pieces –- large and small — are carefully combed for aircraft parts, personal effects, and DNA evidence at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.

“We’re in this now for the long-haul,” said AmeriCares project manager Dana Waesche, negotiating the van back to Connecticut for another load. “When donations eventually slow down, we’re still going to be there.”

(To assist AmeriCares in this effort, call 1-800-486-HELP, or log onto Dana Waesche can be e-mailed at

Ed. Note: Connecticut-based AmeriCares is headquartered in Jeff’s hometown. He’s done volunteer work for the group in the past, and still works not far from the organization. Jeff asked to ride along after he’d heard how quickly and to what degree the outdoor industry had responded to the emergency needs. “After seeing what I saw,” he told SNEWS®, “I felt the industry needed to know more about where its donations go — how AmeriCares gets right to people in need, immediately, without a lot of bureaucracy.” He asked SNEWS® to share his thoughts with others. He added, “A sadness still prevails over New York that will be hard to dispel.”


  • Both Nike and adidas are taking actions to protect employees, as well as the companies’ production overseas. SNEWS® learned that some companies are worried they could be considered American icons and be in danger of further terrorist attacks, and The (Portland) Oregonian newspaper has also reported some protective actions. For example, the shoe companies have pulled the family members of American employees in Indonesia and may pull the employees themselves. Extra security is being taken, a step not unusual for large U.S. companies with a global presence. Evacuation plans are in place too.
  • To support the disaster-relief efforts in New York, Cascade Designs donated Platypus hydration packs, Packsoap, and assorted pads/mattresses to Tactical & Survival Specialties in Harrisonburg, Virg. for OPERATION RESPOND. ABF Trucking in Seattle donated service. A Cascade Designs spokesperson reports seeing a rescue worker wearing a Platy hydration pack on one of the nightly news reports, “and it felt good to know that we could help in some small way.” The company also sent a truckload of Therm-a-Rest pads to AmeriCares.
  • British outdoor market observer and consultant Peter Lundscombe offers this update on the market in the U.K. following the events of Sept. 11 in the U.S.: “As with everybody in the world, the U.K. was devastated as it watched the news unfold in front of its eyes two weeks ago. In terms of the U.K. outdoor industry, we have just held our own trade show and the reaction, despite the absence of many of the industry’s major brands (TNF, Lowe Alpine, Salomon, Helly Hansen, Mountain Hardwear, Karrimor, Sprayway, etc.) because of its late dates was extremely upbeat and positive. It’s best described as people wanting to get on with business.”
  • The SIA has set up a fund to benefit the American Red Cross. Instead of providing briefcases to 2002 show attendees, the money that would have been spent on them will go instead the Red Cross. In addition, five dollars of every registration fee received for the 2002 Show on or before Nov. 6 will also be donated. “This action is one way that we can help our nation get back on track,” said SIA President David Ingemie. “We’re very pleased to be able to do this.”
  • Fischer USA will match 100 percent of all Fischer employee and sales representative Red Cross contributions. It will also make a $5 donation for each pair of adult alpine skis sold at retail to the Relief Fund for families and firefighters and policemen lost at the World Trade Center.


  • Guess you never know who might be working out next to you at the gym. In the days before crashing American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, the five hijackers worked out at Gold’s Gym in Greenbelt, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C, in a quiet shopping center. According to Gold’s, each man signed the guest register at the gym with his own name, paying cash to work out at the facility between Sept. 2 and 6. The five men were Khalid Al-Midhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaq Alhamzi, Salem Alhamzi and Hani Hanjour, all identified by the FBI as being aboard Flight 77 when it left Washington Dulles International Airport on September 11. “It leaves a sick feeling in your gut. This brings it much closer to home,” said Gene LaMott, President and CEO of Gold’s Gym International. LaMott said that federal agents went to Gold’s Gym twice in the days after the attacks to question workers and make copies of the guest registers with the suspects’ names. Gold’s Gym International worked with both the FBI and the media to help build a profile of the attackers.
  • Power Bar has supplied more energy to rescue workers in New York with some 40,000 bars sent via AmeriCares to Ground Zero.
  • Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) announced to employees that it has a long-standing policy of matching employee donations to charities and groups in need. Employees who made donations to the American Red Cross and any other disaster relief fund will have those donations matched. In addition, EMS told SNEWS® that it pulled requested items from its store shelves from around the country to send to organizations and volunteers in New York and Washington D.C.


  • Organizers of the Sept. 30 Berlin Marathon have established a race fund to assist the families of the firefighters and police that lost their lives at the World Trade Center on September 11. Photographer Victah Sailer, a freelancer who has covered the Berlin Marathon since 1995 and a 20-year veteran of the New York Fire Department, had been ending his night shift the morning of attack and arrived home just as the first of the two towers collapsed. He then returned to work where he worked day and night helping to sift through rubble searching for victims. Go to


  • Hi-Tec Sports USA is donating $15,000 worth of Magnum steel toe work boots to the men and women rescue workers who are working day and night to sort through the disaster areas in New York and Washington D.C.
  • Go to to check out a list of non-profit and relief organizations working to aid victims of the terrorist attacks. You can also find ways to help there.
  • Nike’s Cole Haan store, located in the World Trade Center plaza, has been destroyed. But the company says all employees are safe and accounted for. Other Nike and Cole Haan stores in New York and Washington D.C. are open for business as of Thursday Sept. 13, as is Nike’s sales offices in Manhattan’s Chelsea District, which re-opened Wednesday, Sept. 12. All the approximately 50 Nike employees who were in New York on business are safe, and all have returned to their various home cities, the company announced.
  • Princeton Tec has donated approximately 1,000 headlamps, flashlights and batteries to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center. The company coordinated this donation with AmeriCares. “We wanted to lend our support to the truly heroic efforts going on by so many dedicated men and women, who are working night and day in horrific and terrible conditions. We hope in some small way, our donation will make the job a little easier,” said Michael Fattori, vice president, sales & marketing.
  • Harbinger Sports, Napa, Calif.-based manufacturer of fitness and weight-lifting accessories, has always had seasonal “hold” music, including the likes of radio theater and the Grinch. This week, look for something else — patriotic music. You may enjoy a bluesy take on the Star Spangled Banner or something else in support of the United States. This music will be there awhile, the company says.
  • What about help for the dogs who do the searching? Planet Dog Philanthropy, a non-profit grant making organization created recently by Planet Dog, is supporting the relief efforts by donating funds to animal welfare organizations and offering information to Mainers who are also interested in helping. The philanthropy has donated $1,000 to The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation and $1,000 to The ASPCA Animal Disaster Relief Fund.


  • The North Face has anted up again: The company collected six pallets, 121 boxes, and 3,060 pounds of product, all which left for New York today on a truck for AmeriCares to use for rescue workers. This load is in addition to the original Red Cross donation of 27 tents and 300 sleeping bags.
  • The national championships of the Xterra event will go on, as planned, the weekend of Sept. 21-23 in the Lake Tahoe area. “While we at TEAM Unlimited are greatly saddened by the events of Sept. 11, we have made the decision to move forward with our plan to produce the Nissan Xterra USA Championship as scheduled. We feel it is important to provide a positive experience at this difficult time. We also feel the need to acknowledge the hard work and effort of the many athletes who have dedicated their time, money and effort this summer in pursuit of their dreams, and provide them with the opportunity to race. Additionally, we will donate a portion of all entry fees to the Red Cross in support victims of this national tragedy in New York and Washington.”
  • Peter Burnes, the Vasque rep in the Mid-Atlantic region, says the company’s parent, Red Wing Shoe, shipped 800 pairs of steel toe, puncture-proof workboots via

    Americares to the World Trade center site last week. “Rescue workers were in need of the boots as the wreckage took its tool on their footwear,” he told us. “In some cases, they needed to replace their boots after each 12-hour shift. Our hope is that these replacements will help add a bit of support to the heroic effort.”
  • This to SNEWS® from Paul Gagner of Gregory Mountain Products: “The outdoor industry has always been one big family, even amongst all of the mergers, consolidation, etc., it has for the most part remained a friendly and cooperatively competitive environment. So it is no surprise that most of us immediately wondered what we could do to help the efforts in NYC and Washington. As I read somewhere, the tornado in SLC was a training exercise for last week’s tragedy. To this end, Gregory has donated several hundred hydration packs to the relief efforts, as well as organized the company’s blood donation efforts. It seems like so little, but as a group I hope these efforts will make a difference.”
  • The Nike Foundation has been collecting contributions from individual Nike employees and factory partners across the country and throughout the world, all which are being matched by the company. The company will then make a $1 million contribution to the American Red Cross and a variety of other local relief agencies. Nike is also working with relief agencies in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania to provide donations of Nike products for both victims and rescue workers. The first such shipment included 11,400 pairs of socks (Ed note: Socks are a priority for rescuers because of contamination from wreckage.) On Monday, 1,200 Nike ACG boots arrived in New York. At home at the Beaverton campus, U.S. employees will participate in a Red Cross blood drive on Sept. 24-25.

Drying The Tears

The world changed for everyone Tuesday. I just didn’t know it yet. Neither did my companions for the week — Jon Dorn of Backpacker magazine; John Byorth of Hooked on the Outdoors; Ted Stedman, freelance outdoor writer and photographer; McKenzie Funk of National Geographic Adventure; Mark Tucker, an RMI guide; Gigi de Young of JanSport; and Jackie Kempher of JanSport.

While debris and tears rained down in unison miles away and all around the nation, we walked into Chicago Basin within Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, unaware of the unfolding tragedy. Surrounded by towering peaks strung with a glimmering necklace of tumbling waterfalls, streams, and alpine lakes, we wondered only about how cold the water was for swimming, how high the peaks were for climbing, how heavy the packs were that we carried, and how bright the stars were that we slept under. Little did we know, or understand, of the magnitude of change and of heartbreak being played out beyond the walls of our mountainous sanctuary.

On Thursday evening, 60 hours after the first terrorist-piloted impact, Tucker informed us that a woman had told him, earlier that day, that she had heard from a teenager who had called his grandmother from one of the mountain tops, that two planes had destroyed the World Trade Center, a third had blown up the Pentagon, and a fourth was unaccounted for. The story was too wild to believe, though also seemingly too wild to have been made up. Cradled in the lap of mountain beauty, it wasn’t too difficult to push the thought of such horror to a corner of our minds, though not out of my mind completely. What if? No, it had to be something we’d only read in a Tom Clancy novel.

Friday, just after noon, Jon Dorn and I summited 14,083-foot-high Windom. Four other men, who had entered the wilderness on Wednesday, joined us. Before descending, we finally dared to ask them about what we had heard. The mood suddenly changed. Yes, it was true, they told us. It was, they said, the most unbelievable, detestable act imaginable. Ten to twenty thousand people were dead.

I began my descent feeling at first detached, numb. Then the tears flowed for the horror I was trying hard not to imagine, for my wife home alone who I now needed desperately to hold, for our friends in the valley below who Jon and I now needed to tell.

Anger, fear, bewilderment, stunned silence, a flood of tears. Our group felt the gamut of emotion that evening. Since we had agreed not to bring a cell phone into the wilds and, as a result, were unable to reach out to find out about the welfare of friends and family, we decided, without question, to end our trek early and head home.

As I sat on a rocky outcrop the morning of our departure, I became more acutely aware of the sun radiating down on my skin. The music of the nearby stream and the incense of rain-freshened earth reached out to sooth my troubled soul and I pondered the following words from John Muir, “In God’s wilderness lies the hope of the world — the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and the wounds heal ere we are aware.”

Our world had changed in ways I am not sure any of us can yet grasp. Our naïve innocence that we as a country were somehow immune to terrorist attacks was erased in one horrific act of cowardice. And, yet, amid the clouds of mental debris all of us are choking under, there is hope. Despite the equally despicable words of some Americans who feel a need to “nuke all the ragheads here and abroad,” as one clueless wonder so eloquently expressed to me Saturday, there is hope.

Though Denver International Airport was a virtual ghost town on Sunday as I flew home, I noticed American flags everywhere I turned — in windows, on daypacks, attached to antennas, hanging from rooftops. I noticed myriads of colored ribbons on shirts and blouses, smiles that seemed warmer, handshakes that felt firmer, hugs that felt more genuine. I listened to and read hundreds of stories of courage and selfless heroism. Instead of simple nods and goodbye waves from strangers, I heard time and again, “God bless.”

Our industry and others stepped up to the plate offering assistance in any way needed from food to clothing to money. SNEWS® received numerous thank you notes for posting on our site Wednesday contact information for sending aid, and we thank everyone for taking the time to follow through and give assistance.

As I sit here writing this to all of you, I can’t help but feel grateful for my life, for your lives. Lawsuits, bankruptcies, consolidations, buyouts, company restructurings and more seem such trivial matters in light of the past week. Let us never lose sight of the fact that we are industries rooted in recreation, fitness, fun. There is health and healing to be found in being fit and outdoors. The world needs what we have to offer more than ever now. Let the healing begin.

God bless.

Michael Hodgson

Co-publisher, SNEWS®


  • AmeriCares has announced it now mostly needs boots, heavy-duty flashlights, and welding gear, and that most of the rescue workers current needs for food and clothing have been met. For more on this, click here for the SNEWS story on the AmeriCares’ call for donations.
  • Mike Mooers, speaking for Ultimate Designs, said the company had to scour its shelves for product to send, and ending up nabbing recently ordered giveaways for an event. “We threw them into a box so we could get them out quickly, and we didn’t take time to count,” he told SNEWS. That meant “a bunch” of bottles, bottles with clip-on holsters, and 24 hydration packs. “People have asked us why we donated and it’s been hard to give a real answer,” Mooers said. “It transcended ‘the right thing to do;’ It was like helping family in a time of need. You do what needs to be done.”

  • In consideration of this week’s tragic events and related stock market closures, NIKE, Inc. has rescheduled its first quarter fiscal 2002 earnings release. First quarter earnings results, originally scheduled to be released on Monday, September 17, 2001, will be released on Thursday, September 20, 2001 after the market closes. Also, Nike announced that due to unforeseen technical difficulties related to the week’s tragic events, the phone numbers for the conference call have changed to: Interested media participants may dial 415-537-1933 after 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time, or may tune in to the live webcast at
  • Timberland has been sending to AmeriCares work boots, socks, jeans, outerwear, t-shirts, and “essentially, whatever the workers say they need to help them carry through their relief efforts,” said a Timberland spokeswoman. Also, individual company stores have initiated separate donation efforts as well. “Anything we can do in this sad time,” she told SNEWS.


  • The North Face and Mountain Hardwear are two companies that have shipped tents, sleeping bags, rain gear and other goods to New York, especially appropriate in light of the tropical storm hitting the east.
  • GU has shipped cases of large-sized GU gel and its new sports hydration drink, GU2O, to New York rescue workers.
  • Now through Dec. 9, all proceeds from Hooked on the Outdoors subscriptions above minimal mailing costs will be donated to the American Red Cross, the magazine announced on Sept. 15.


  • Thorlo is donating socks to NYC Firefighters, Americares, and other groups, as well as asking its area retailers to donate socks, which the company will replace. The company is also making cash donations. From Debbie Lazenby at Thorlo: “One very important thing about this is that we (Thorlo) are sending our support because it is the right thing to do, and we want to help our neighbors who are in need. Thorlo has a long history of supporting the needs of not only our immediate community, but also those around the country who may be in need. We do this all year long, almost daily and always very quietly. Our Thorlo community is very close and we want others to know our gifts come from our hearts. This is a grave time for our country and it is important that we all come together with our resources to overcome this tragedy. We are more than happy to do our part to support the rescue efforts.”
  • Once Dunham and New Balance knew their coworkers at a New Balance retail store in the World Trade Center were all accounted for, they prepared to send to New York quite a list of product. From Dunham Bootmakers: 425 pairs of men’s steel toe boots and 88 pairs of women’s steel toe boots. From New Balance: 400 pair men’s outdoor shoes, 284 pair women’s outdoor shoes, 8128 pairs of socks, 336 tee shirts, 686 jackets. Says Dunham President Joe Preston: “We anticipate sending more as time goes by.”
  • Sportif is donating “a bit of everything,” says spokeswoman Christina Stoever, from Gore-Tex and fleece, to shirts and pants, even a run of durable shorts for some of AmeriCares efforts in other nations with warmer climates. All to arrive by about Sept. 16 or 17.
  • Clif Bar Inc. is donating more than 26,000 Clif and LUNA bars to AmeriCares, scheduled to arrive via ground transportation on Sept. 17. Also, Clif Bar Inc. is donating $6,000 to the American Red Cross through the click-to-donate Disaster Aid site.
  • Performance sock manufacturer Fox River Mills is donating more than 2,000 pairs of socks to the relief effort in New York City, a spokeswoman said. Since the rescuers’ clothing becomes contaminated and must be changed constantly, socks are in great demand, the company said. Fox River is joining with other members of the National Hosiery Association to help by donating socks.
  • Puma, based in Germany, has donated a $100,000 to Rotary International in Westford Mass., (the home of its U.S. headquarters). That money is to be used for the relatives of the victims and other general help.
  • SmartWool, in conjunction with Crescent Hosiery Mill in Chattanooga, Tenn., has donated 15,408 pairs of socks to go directly to the New York City Fire Fighters. The socks will be shipped to the AmeriCares warehouse and should arrive to the rescue scene by Sept. 16.


  • If you try to call the Salomon Portland, Ore., office it’s a coin toss whether you get voicemail or a real human. About half of the employees from that office are stranded in France. They were there attending seminars and meetings when the attacks occurred and can’t get home.
  • Part of the turmoil for others not directly involved is getting somewhere. Paul Byrne, president of fitnes equipment manufacturer Precor USA based outside of Seattle, Wash., was stuck in Montana. So he told SNEWS he “hijacked” his rental car there and drove 14 hours on Wednesday and Thursday to get back to the office.
  • And then there’re the stores in New York and Washington D.C. Even if they weren’t harmed and are out of the area, who’s into shopping? Patagonia says its store in lower Manhattan isn’t damaged and all are fine, but it’s in the cordoned off no-admittance area south of 14th street so it’s closed. Patagonia’s uptown New York City store is open, as is its Washington store, but no one is shopping. Can you blame them?
  • The Lake Tahoe Fall Games, produced by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and scheduled for Sept. 22-23, has been cancelled because of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. “The idea of hosting the Lake Tahoe Fall Games and event festivities during a time of national despair did not seem appropriate,” said Executive Director Phil McKenney.


  • J. Smith, executive director of Big City Mountaineers, checks in to say a “sense of loss fills the BCM office.” He reports that Ann Judge, Director of the National Geographic Society’s Travel Office and a BCM volunteer was on American Airlines flight #77 that flew into the Pentagon. “Ann was accompanying a group of teachers and students to California as part of a National Geographic Society trip. Ann volunteered to help BCM by making all of our travel arrangements for our kids. She enjoyed our organization and is a tremendous loss, both professionally and personally. Ann leaves behind a husband, her elderly mother and her dog.”
  • The New England Journal of Medicine in its Sept. 13 edition online has transmitted a plea for physicians to volunteer for the emergency searches and procedures. New York State and the Federal Government are setting up an emergency volunteer data bank. Call 518-431-7600 if you or anyone you know can help.
  • Read Worth of RLX Polo, whose offices are a short distance from the World Trade Center area, told SNEWS: “We are creeping back into our office today. I don’t have sufficient words to express my feelings about yesterday’s tragic events. Suffice that it is a terrible day in history for all of us. My humor left me for a couple of days. Kind of hollow here in NYC. It’s like a war zone downtown.”
  • Longtime fabric salesman and now business consultant Doug Hoschek flew into New York late Monday evening from Minneapolis. He made his way to Red Bank, New Jersey, and checked into a hotel. The next morning he took the train into Manhattan, only to be turned back by police at Penn Station. “We were told what had happened and to get on the next train back to New Jersey. From the train we saw the second tower implosion. It was horrifying,” he told SNEWS. It took Hoschek four hours to make phone contact with his wife who had flown to Virginia earlier in the week.
  • John Mousseau, former marketing manager for Fogdog Sports and now living in New York City, told SNEWS: “Everyone is praying for the best. The mood is one of shock, turning to anger. It’s like a war zone on lower Manhattan. People want to do more to help but there’s nothing we can really do, except give blood.”
  • On hearing the explosion of the first plane into the World Trade Center, the New Balance store on the first floor was immediately closed, a spokesman told SNEWS, and all personnel evacuated. All made it to safety.