"I wish I could be here under better circumstances than the news we got," Ventura said.
The governor likened the attacks to Pearl Harbor and activated a state emergency center with a telephone hotline for people to report suspicious activity. The governor also ordered flags at all government buildings flown at half staff indefinitely.
In the downtowns of St.Paul and Minneapolis, workers by the hundreds streamed from office buildings. Some left on their own to go home; others evacuated as a precaution. The IDS Tower closed, the Mall of America shut down. Workers at St. Paul's World Trade Center were also sent home.
On the sidewalk outside, office workers shared reactions to the morning's events.
Richard Tweeden was heading home to be with his family and was physically sickened by the attacks. He'd had enough of the dramatic television coverage which held the attention of so many for so much of the day. "There's kind of tingling in my body and a pit in my stomach," he told Minnesota Public Radio. "I want to get home and see if I can get my children and just kind of huddle up. I don't want to watch television right now, I'll tell you that. I don't need anymore trauma right now."
Like the governor, Sayles Belton appealed for calm. Sayles Belton and Police Chief Robert Olson also asked citizens to report to authorities any suspicious activity. "We are following up on things that we normally would not do so. We've increased security not only here in City Hall, in our communications center. We've also called in additional officers to make sure that our neighborhoods are fully up to strength," Olson said.
Along Nicollet Mall during the lunch hour, there was a visible presence of police, among the clusters of downtown workers sorting through the morning's events. "I hate to say it but I'm anticipating the next disaster. It's definitely not over. To me it's only just begun and I don't know where it's going to go from here and it's kind of scary about what may happen," said Minneapolis Community Technical College administrative assistant Erica Reese. She said it's time for the U.S. to tighten security even if it comes at the expense of certain personal liberties."
"I just don't think that the government cares enough about our security," she said.