The repercussions of the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, which targeted the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were catastrophic, with 2996 people killed and over 6000 injured. It’s also the single deadliest incidents in the history of the United States of America for firefighters and law enforcement officers.
This attack also created heroes who fought their hearts out and helped in the evacuation processes. Unfortunately, many of them laid down their own lives.
Even though it’s impossible to name them all, we will mention some in order to show our gratitude for their sacrifice. NYPD Officer Moira Smith, the first person to report the attack, and Welles Crowther, an investment banker who helped others evacuate from the World Trade Center’s south tower.
Todd Beamer, who attended my alma mater, famously said, “Let’s roll,” before attacking the hijackers of Flight 93. And then there’s Rick Rescorla.
At first it seems odd to put Rescorla on a list naming American heroes. If you wonder why do we say that, the answer is because he was British by birth.
According to the Daily Mail, Rescorla who fought in the Vietnam War was born in Cornwall, England and came to the United States at the age of 23, naturalized.
Rescorla became the head of security for Morgan Dean Writter in 1997, but during the whole time he remained concerned by the trashy and sort of negligent evacuation of the World Trade Center in 1993 when a truck bomb was detonated at the north tower.
Believing that the Towers are an easy target for a terrorist attack, he desperately tried to convince Morgan Stanley change offices, but the company remained deaf of his warnings. Rescorla ran regular evacuation drills for he always feared the poor security measures.
The training paid off. When the first plane struck the tower, a call came for everyone to stay at their desks, but Rescorla immediately started marching people out.
According to New Yorrker, his Army friend Dan Hill helped him evaluate the security situation at the World Trade Center.
Rescorla told Hill that he’d blown off the New York Port Authority’s insistence that people remain where they were, saying, “Piss off, you son of a b—-. Everything above where that plane hit is going to collapse, and it’s going to take the whole building with it.”
All of Morgan Stanley’s employees were safe from the attack because they managed to get out of the burning tower with Rescorla’s help. He didn’t stop until the last employee was out, but he didn’t stop there. He saved roughly 2,700 people that day and ran back inside to look for stragglers.
The Daily Mail said that his wife, Susan, called him as he headed back in. She said, “I was told that Rick was trying to get everyone out of the building.
Then I called him on his mobile phone and he said he was trying to get people out of the building. He told me to stop crying and said ‘If anything happens to me, I just want you to know that you made my life.’”
Unfortunately, that was the last time Susan heard from her loving husband. The moment he got back inside the tower it collapsed and killed him and everyone else in it.
The bravery of this man must never be forgotten. His name will stay written in our hearts and he’ll be remembered for his deeds not only by the 3,000 souls who owe him their lives, but by every American out there.