2011 sees the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and that’s meant the day being marked maybe more notably than the other years. Back in 2005 I wrote an article called ‘Remembering Rick Rescorla’ after reading about him, so I thought I’d revisit that today. Whether you’ve heard of him or not, I think you’ll be glad you had a read…
Rick Rescorla was the head of security for Morgan Stanley, working in Tower 2.
Born Cyril Rescorla in England, he was impressed by the US forces that were based in his village during the war.
He wanted to join the US army, so that’s exactly what he did, after telling people that he now wanted to be called Rick. He won medals for bravery serving as a lieutenant in Vietnam, and afterwards settled in the US, and became a proud US citizen.
After the basement of the World Trade Center had been bombed in 1993, Rescorla was convinced that the complex was likely to be a target again, and that the method of attack would most likely be by air.
He worked out an evacuation plan for the 2700 Morgan Stanley employees, and held regular drills. Despite the fact that these didn’t make him the most popular person, they ended up all up knowing exactly what to do and where to go in the event of an incident.
When the first plane hit on 9/11, the Morgan Stanley employees stopped what
they were doing, and started to leave the building. The Port Authority who owned the buildings, announced that Tower 2 was safe, and people should not leave it. Most of the Morgan Stanley people decided to stick with Rescorla’s advice, that if in any doubt, they should get out of the building.
This meant that by the time the second plane hit, a huge number of workers were either already out, or getting out.
Rick rang his wife, telling her that he was doing his job and that she shouldn’t cry. When other workers told him he needed to get out, he told them he would do so once everyone else was out. One of the last things heard from him was when he said he was going back up to help people trapped on higher floors.
Out of 2700 Morgan Stanley employees, there were only 6 losses.
Rick Rescorla was one of them, as when the tower collapsed, he was still inside, trying to save others. His body was never found.
His life ended that day, but his actions then and in the years leading up to it,
helped to save hundreds and hundreds of other people.
I view this story as life affirming and another prompt, in my opinion, to view life as positively as possible. A big component of that is to make sure we appreciate the wealth of abundance we already have.
In amongst all the other stories of human nature that get told every 9/11, I always think of Rick Rescorla, and if by doing the same you appreciate life a little bit more, that’s no bad thing.