Although polls indicate that a majority of Americans want the World Trade Center's Twin Towers rebuilt, CNBC's Wall Street wiz, Maria Bartiromo, isn't ready to support such an effort. "To be honest, I don't know if I'd want to work in a building that tall," she confesses to TV Guide Online. "It's so sad to look at our skyline now, but maybe from a safety point of view... I don't know. I'm on the fence about it."
Bartiromo (aka the "Money Honey") certainly has reason to be apprehensive: The popular host of Market Week was just blocks away from Ground Zero when disaster struck. "I was in my office [at the New York Stock Exchange] getting ready to go on the air with one of my updates and I saw on TV that one tower was on fire," she recalls. "I ran outside and called my office, and [while] I was on the phone, a plane comes out of nowhere and crashes right into the second tower. I couldn't believe what I just saw."
And before she could even begin to process that catastrophe, something even more unthinkable happened. "All of a sudden, I heard a huge, huge noise — an enormous collapse of a noise — and everyone ran for their lives," she explains. "I didn't realize the building had collapsed. It could have been that there was an explosion at the exchange. I didn't know what was happening. The air turned black, debris was falling everywhere, steel was flying... It was like a tornado. It was pretty scary."
When the dust settled, Bartiromo cleaned herself up ("I was covered in soot") and returned to her office to regroup. Two days later, reality sunk in: The 33-year-old Brooklyn native had friends in the towers — including high-school pal Jackie Sayegh, who is missing and presumed dead. "She was working on the 106th floor of the first tower," she sighs. "She didn't have a chance."But like Wall Street, Bartiromo is doing her best to rebound from the tragedy. "People are still hurt and they're somewhat fragile over what has happened," she says of the mood at the NYSE. "But at the end of the day, they do believe that America is the strongest nation in the world, and we'll get through this."