At 8:15 a.m. on Sept.11, Dan Sondhelm and Bob Tebeleff, two public relations executives from Norfolk, Va., checked out of the Marriott World Trade Center with the usual business in mind. They would host two press events in New York City that day, one in the financial district, one in midtown. Both events would promote smaller fund companies as well as a back-office firm called Quasar.

Instead, the two men faced, not just the cancellations of their events, but a citywide, then nationwide shutdown of business as usual. And they were there to witness it firsthand.

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