It has been 22 years since our country was drastically and fundamentally changed. The lives we knew were irreparably altered and the thought of our own mortality and how fragile life is was made glaringly clear. Amidst the chaos and fear though, we found heroes in people just like us.
This is the story of a man whose name is mostly unknown. His name was Rick Rescorla.
This man's name is Rick Rescorla.— Spike Cohen (@RealSpikeCohen) September 11, 2023
22 years ago today, Rick disobeyed orders, and saved 2700 lives.
Rick was the head of security for Morgan Stanley in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. He warned that the Towers' basements were vulnerable to attack.
His warnings… pic.twitter.com/MZz9KchEDq
Had this man not disobeyed the training he was given, the death toll would've been nearly doubled. Rick saved almost as many people as were killed.
We tend to focus so often on the perpetrators of evil acts and don't give nearly that much thought to the victims, and this author is just as guilty as anyone of that. But today? We are going to focus our eyes on the GOOD.
Rick had aspirations to write plays and screenplays. He suffered, like so many of us do, with body image issues. He was known to tell people that he didn’t know how much time he had to live, but, whatever was left, he intended to make the most of it.
On the morning of September 11, his wife, Susan, said he got out of the shower and did an impression of the actor Anthony Hopkins.
'I’ve never felt better in my life.'
She said he grabbed her around the waist and danced before he kissed her goodbye. 'I love you so,' he said, and then left for the train station.
After the first plane hit the tower, a woman named Barbara Williams, who worked with Rescorla on the 44th floor, called Susan and told her, 'Don’t worry. It’s fine, it’s contained. Rick is getting everyone out. He’s out there with the bullhorn now.'
Rick's best friend, a man named Dan Hill, recounts that Rick remained calm, and then broke out into song on his megaphone so that people trying to evacuate could hear him. The last thing Rick said to Dan was, 'Everything above where that plane hit is going to collapse, and it’s going to take the whole building with it. I’m getting my people the f--k out of here. I got to go. Get everything in one basket and get ready to come up.'
Rick then called his wife, Susan. His words to her were as follows: 'Stop crying. I have to get these people out safely. If something should happen to me, I want you to know I’ve never been happier. You made my life.'
Here's Rick with Susan. pic.twitter.com/Uo440dAWeU— Spike Cohen (@RealSpikeCohen) September 11, 2023
May we never forget Rick and the sacrifice he made. He placed the lives of so many others above his own, and this should always be remembered.