Lawrence M. Schloss heard from a Credit Suisse colleague that the first plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers.
From his 16th-floor corner office at Park Avenue and 24th Street, he looked out the window and saw the second plane slam into the second tower.
“We couldn't believe it,” said Mr. Schloss, who was then global head of the Credit Suisse global equity business and is now deputy New York City comptroller for pensions and chief investment officer for the city pension system.
For the next few hours, Mr. Schloss alternated between watching events unfold on a television in a Credit Suisse conference room and waiting on line in the basement to donate blood.
At the end of the day, he walked more than 50 blocks to his home. “It was a sad walk home,” he said.
Although Mr. Schloss remained “pretty much glued to the TV for the next few weeks,” he also started calling “everyone I knew” to contribute to the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund.
He has been a longtime board member of the charity that assists families of police officers, firefighters, New York port authority police and emergency medical system employees killed in the line of duty. The charity was founded in 1985, and Sept. 11, 2001, added greatly to its responsibilities. The charity provided financial assistance to 320 families in 1987, a number that has risen to nearly 700 this year.