The scare this sent throughout NYC makes it obvious some still remember 9/11 vividly:
John Leitner, a trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, told the Associated Press that about 1,000 people "went into a total panic" and ran outside after seeing the planes nearby about 10 a.m.All this for a "photo op"? Why not save the fuel, the red tape, and money by computer-enhancing the scene you want with Air Force One? This was utterly ridiculous ... and a huge waste of taxpayer money all the way around.
"We were informed after we cleared out of there," he said. "I kind of think heads should roll a little bit on that."
Kathleen Seagriff, a staff assistant at the Wall Street Journal, said workers were startled by the roar of the engines.
The planes "went down the Hudson, turned around and came back by the building. It was a scary scene, especially for those of us who were there on 9/11."
Videos uploaded to YouTube of the flyover had a common theme: scared New Yorkers gasping and saying, "Oh my God," "run" and "It's a hijacking, I know it because it's been going around."
Others were angry when they learned it was a photo op involving the Statue of Liberty, asking on blogs and via Twitter why the military did not just use photo editing software instead.
Mr. Bloomberg - an Obama ally - said he would have stopped the exercise had he personally known, adding that he would address the communication breakdown within his administration.
He told reporters that he learned about the scare from angry citizen e-mails during the flyover and was "incredulous" that the Defense Department had shown such "poor judgment."
"They should know how sensitive people would be if they had low-flying planes down by the World Trade Center site," the mayor said.