As I sat in my office 8 years ago, I watched the network monitor go dark on our NYC leg of the backbone - customers, dialup servers, everything, all at once. It was a few minutes after starting to try and reset interfaces that my best friend called me on the phone, and told me to look at the news.
I honestly don't remember all that much after that...
I know I gave up trying to get that leg of the network back working.
I know we had a dumbshit day trader call in and complain because she couldn't do her stock trades. When I told her that 2k people just died, she said she didn't care - not her problem. I realized then just how big a douchebag some people are. She got an earfull.
We closed up the NOC that day at noon. No sense in sitting around wishing things would get better... Hell had just opened wide iin Manhattan.