9/11 Long Island Remembers: Saving America's banking system

LATTINGTOWN - When the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, the economy of New York and the world did not, largely thanks to the work of a Long Island mother of seven.

On Sept. 11, 2001, then-New York State Banking Superintendent Elizabeth McCaul was in Japan to meet with the country's finance minister. When she returned to her Tokyo hotel room, she saw the news from New York.

"So instead of preparing for bed, I opened the phone lines to New York and began doing my job - getting the banks and Wall Street open again," McCaul recalls.

McCaul set up her command post in her room and started calling U.S. financial officials to prevent a bank run in New York. She also organized the delivery of cash to the city?s ATMs with the help of the National Guard.

Then, McCaul had to clear individual bankers to come back into the city, many of them staying at work around the clock to get the system up and running again.

McCaul ended up hitching a ride home on a U.S. military cargo plane, and upon landing, headed back to the Federal Reserve, making her way down Wall Street through knee-deep piles of ash.

"That New York is in the place it is today in spite of what happened is because people care and they worked hard," she says. 9/11 Long Island Remembers

9/11 Long Island Remembers: Fighting for first responders

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