Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rick Rescorla - The Man Who Saved Many

Years ago, you probably read this long but beautifully written story in The New Yorker about the heroic Rick Rescorla.  I believe that it is worth rereading today.
All The Heroes Are Dead
A love Story
By James B. Stewart
From Wikipedia 
Rescorla was supposed to be on vacation on September 11, 2001, in preparation for his stepdaughter's upcoming wedding in Tuscany. But as well as covering a shift so one of his deputies could go on vacation, he was also scheduled to attend a lunchtime meeting to discuss the lawsuit Morgan Stanley was filing against the Port Authority about the security lapses that led to the 1993 attack.

At 8:46 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 struck World Trade Center Tower 1 (see September 11, 2001 attacks). Rescorla, following his evacuation plans, ignored building officials' advice to stay put and began the orderly evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,700 employees on twenty floors of World Trade Center Tower 2, and 1,000 employees in WTC 5. Rescorla reminded everyone to " proud to be an American ...everyone will be talking about you tomorrow", and sang God Bless America and other military and Cornish songs over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building, including an adaptation of the song Men of Harlech:
Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can't you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors' pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!
Rescorla had most of Morgan Stanley’s 2700 employees as well as people working on other floors of WTC 2 safely out of the buildings by the time United Airlines Flight 175 hit WTC 2 at 9:03 a.m. After having led many of his fellow employees to safety, Rescorla returned to the building to rescue others still inside. When one of his colleagues told him he too had to evacuate the World Trade Center, Rescorla replied,
"As soon as I make sure everyone else is out".

How ironic that the man who predicted 9/11 would end up perishing in the tragedy

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M said...

Belle, Thank you so much for posting this. God Bless all those who lost a loved one on 9/11.

Susan Erickson said... retrospect it all makes sense. We were all innocent about what other people are capable of. Rick knew what was possible. Security is all about finding the risks. What was the government doing all this time. They knew too.....Rick is a hero still and always will be....

Anonymous said...

I know someone who knew him, and he was an amazing person. Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post. Days like today make me angry. Very angry. Forget about the Middle East. Our own worst enemies are sitting right here in the bureaucratic halls of Washington, DC and in the media boardrooms in NYC and Hollywood.

Belle, what is your opinion on the alleged Israeli/American involvement in the WTC attacks?

Either way, the American power elites are responsible for this, IMO, and they need to be brought to justice. It might take some time, but they're gonna hang.

Mary-Laure said...

Great tribute. Somehow I had missed the NYer article, so I'm going to read it today.

WendyB said...

I remember Jim Stewart's story from when it first came out -- it made a big impression on me.

Belle de Ville said...

Thanks everyone for the comments and for remembering 9/11. So many people have forgotten this tragedy already.

tintin said...

My father knew Rick in the central highlands of Vietnam. He tells some great stories about RR's drinking abilities as well as the man's natural leadership skills. The accent didn't hurt. Thank you for this.

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