As James A. Klein observed the chaos and gridlock from his office window at the American Benefits Council just a few blocks from the White House, he told his colleagues that “life was really never going to be the same.”
When he finally started for home, he noticed a businessman walking across one of the city's bridges, and offered him a lift. Mr. Klein's passenger told him that when the planes hit, White House staff was evacuated to an underground bunker near the White House and kept there for a few hours.
“For the next several days, there was a military presence all over downtown, particularly with jeeps parked at main intersections,” said Mr. Klein, president of the ABC.
“We consulted experts on preparing for things like this. We stocked up on canned food and other supplies, and we developed a communication tree. Thank God we haven't had to implement it."Shortly after 9/11 came another threat, with alleged doses of anthrax being sent to members of Congress. That scare triggered another layer of security and delay in mail delivery to Capitol Hill, along with suspicion of any hand-delivered packages. “9/11 really was the turning point in doing much more communication with Hill offices by e-mail,” Mr. Klein recalled.