Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko skipped a funeral to stay in the capital in the wake of what he called "one of most tragic days in the history of America."
As he and his wife Diane prepared to leave for her mother's funeral in California early Tuesday morning, shocking images from New York City stopped them in their tracks.
"That's an image that will forever last in my memory, that airliner heading toward the Trade Center tower," Masayko said. "That was just unbelievable.
"Disbelief and shook set in. I thought, my God, America is under attack. From whom? Is it going somewhere else? I can't belief somebody would do this.
Not knowing whether the terrorism was isolated to the East Coast, Masayko called other city leaders to make sure the city's emergency system was ready if it was needed. He sent his wife to California and decided to stay "if they needed me.
"You don't know what to expect," he said. "That's just part of the shock and disbelief. I decided I needed to be here just in case."
Masayko said as things calm down around the country, Carson City residents should offer their remorse and condolences to those injured in the tragic morning attacks.
"The story will eventually come out, but this is virtually unbelievable," Masayko said. "It scares you sometimes. You can't be scared, though. You don't want to be so frightened that we assume the bunker mentality. We will, the country will, do what's necessary to identify and bring those responsible for this to justice."