This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Day of Chaos and Terror, Part 1: A Veteran Trader Remembers 9/11

We exited the doors on the west end of the solarium onto the outdoor harbor plaza, where we could see small yachts and recreational sailboats bobbing in the World Financial Center marina. We turned back toward the solarium mall, behind which the World Trade Center towers were clearly in view -- we weren't more than 500 yards from them. A large crowd was beginning to form. Very little of what I saw made sense.

There was a hole in Tower 1, but we were looking at it from an oblique angle, and from our perspective, it looked insignificant. The building's immensity dwarfed the gaping hole, and I misjudged how deep a wound it had sustained. But clouds of thick black smoke were pouring from it, and from a second, smaller hole that faced us.

There was one more thing I remember distinctly: Pieces of paper filled the air, as if a parade had been scheduled on Broadway just a few blocks away and the parade-goers had been confused about where to drop all the confetti. It looked far too much like a celebration for me to grasp what was happening.

Everyone around me was talking on a cell phone, learning from loved ones about the various explanations that were being offered on television and radio broadcasts.

The most talked about explanation was that a general aviation plane had mistakenly flown off course, or that its pilot had suffered a heart attack. I was discussing the possibilities with Ron, who knew a good bit about construction and buildings because his family was involved in general contracting.

"Could a Cessna do that?" I asked him.

"No f**king way," he said.

"Then it must be a bomb?" I asked.

That was not an unlikely possibility. I had been trading in NYMEX's previous home at Four World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993, when a truck bomb exploded in the parking garage below Tower 1, shaking the trading floor.

On that day, I had managed to leave the floor, walk through smoke-engulfed hallways in the mall leading to the subway lines and catch a number 1 subway train back home to the Upper West Side before the Metropolitan Transit Authority recognized the problem and shut down the subway lines.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,822.94 +5.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,068.41 -1.00 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,758.6760 +3.7840 0.08%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs