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August 31, 2002

We Will Never Forget

By Gregory Bresiger

The American Stock Exchange was in the thick of the calamitous attack on September 11 which claimed the lives of several Amex members and friends: Emeric Harvey, Michael Pascuma, Jr., Robert Twomey, Patrick Dickinson, Thomas Sullivan, Robert Sutcliffe, John Schroeder, Michael Tamuccio and Rudy Bacchus. The attacks caused physical and emotional damage at the exchange. Still, it made a remarkable comeback. Amex Chairman and CEO, Salvatore Sodano, reflects on the horrible events and on the spirit that brought the Amex back.

The collapse of the World Trade Center literally shook the foundation of the American Stock Exchange, located approximately 100 yards from Ground Zero. Windows were blown out, debris covered our office buildings; and approximately 1,000 of the 2,500 utility cables that lead into the Exchange were severed by the impact. The terrorist attack left us without power, without water, without telephone service and without the means to conduct business.

Our People

Fortunately, we still had our people. Working 20-hour days, we literally recreated the American Stock Exchange in two disparate geographic locations. Our colleagues at the New York and Philadelphia Stock Exchanges rose to the occasion by offering space on their own floors to allow us to resume our operations. In doing so, they proved that America comes first; and we are grateful for their support.

We had to coordinate our efforts with the White House, Securities and Exchange Commission, mayor's office, governor's office, police and fire departments, utility companies and many others.

The effect on our people was equally devastating. The horrifying explosions, confusion and uncertainty were enough to test the resolve of any human being. Our employees found themselves in the epicenter of an event that will be seared into our minds forever, with images that will last a lifetime.

In spite of these challenges, the American Stock Exchange resumed trading on September 17, 2001, along with other U.S. exchanges.

Our work was not complete, though. Dust and debris that had blown into every corner of every room at the Exchange had to be cleaned up. Cables had to be rewired, power restored and windows replaced. All our trading systems were fully tested and up and operating when trading resumed in our own building on October 1.

Free Markets

Anyone visiting the American Stock Exchange a month after the terrorist attack wouldn't know, without looking out a window, that anything had happened. But we all know. And we will never forget.

September 11 changed us forever. But it did not weaken our resolve it only strengthened it. It reminded us of the importance of what we do. It reminded us of the link between free markets and free people. It reminded us that the stock market is the soul of this great country and that the millions of trades that take place every day on our trading floor keep our economy moving and our country strong.

Everyone at the American Stock Exchange, and the countless others who helped us, instinctively knew that we had a responsibility not only to ourselves, but to our country, to be up and running again as soon as possible.

No one was asked to work 20-hour days. We just did it. It's the American way. It's the American Stock Exchange way, too. We're proud to be the American Stock Exchange now more than ever.

Reprinted with the permission of the American Stock Exchange.