HAD I BEEN ON TIME THAT MORNING

Christopher McComas 5/3/02


The morning of September 11 was a strange one for me. That day I overslept which I usually donıt do. I finally got up when my pager went off, the message read world trade center on fire turn on TV. It was from my then girlfriend Amalie. She works in Jersey City and had a front row seat for the destruction. When I got the page I jumped from bed and went into the other room to look out the window. I live in New Jersey but I have a limited view of New York City from the side windows of the house. I was not able to see anything out the window so I decided to turn the TV on and see if the news was covering the story yet. I was in front of the TV when the buildings collapsed. All that I could think of is that I was glad Amalie didnıt work at Morgan Stanley anymore. She office was in the trade center in tower 5. Apart from her I did not know anyone personally who worked in the building. I tried to call Amalie, so that I could get her to come home. She was not able to take the train, and the roads were closed so she had to walk to Rt 1&9. It was quite a hike for her and took most of the day. Once she made it one of her co-workers mom picked her up and dropped her off at my house. She was tired and upset so I tried to calm her down for the rest of the night.

Had I been on time that morning I would have had a front row seat for the mayhem. My office is in Harborside Financial Center in Jersey City. Many of the office have a view of the city and one of the large conference rooms is name the world trade center room. After the attack we actually closed the doors to the office. Everyone was forced out of the building and the doors were locked. This is very unusual because we are a 24x7x365 operation. All network control was transferred out to Santa Clara and the building was vacated. In the days after the attack we were very busy accommodating many of the businesses that were affected. We installed NYMEX in record time, as well as some other big name companies that were without data center and equipment. Iım proud that our company was able to help some of the businesses get back on there feet fast. I personally worked with Merrill Lynch to help keep ML.com on-line. Merrill was hit really hard because most of the mainframes were on West Street or in the world financial center. The computers were up until the generators ran out of fuel, which didnıt take long. Now that itıs over, the skyline looks really strange. The sad part is as the days go by itıs harder to tell exactly where the towers were. Itıs something I just took for granted daily.

N.B. To understand what I REALLY want to do about this, come to my research paper on cyberterrorism, ASSESSING AND COMBATING THE HACKER POTENTIAL OF AL-QAEDA.