Rick Rescorla – The Man Who Predicted 9/11

A man who was convinced the Twin Towers would be targeted in a terror attack led 2,700 people to safety from the World Trade Center before being killed when he went back in looking for stragglers.

Security chief Rick Rescorla carried out training drills with staff at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter to prepare them for a terror atrocity after realising the vulnerability of buildings to air terror attacks.

But after leading thousands to safety on 9/11 when his fears were realised, the 62-year-old Cornishman was last seen going back up the stairs of the South Tower before it collapsed.

Mr Rescorla survived the 1993 car bomb attack on the World Trade Center, but later became one of very few people who realised how vulnerable the skyscraper could be to a terror atrocity.

He became so convinced that the banking firm, at his insistence, started running drills every three months on how to get thousands of staff from the company’s offices – which covered 40 floors of the South Tower and a site nearby – out as quickly as possible.

Mr Rescorla’s cousin, Jon Daniels, a former pub landlord who still lives in Hayle, Cornwall, where Mr Rescorla was born and grew up, remembers all too well the events of that day, which he said are brought home again with every anniversary.

‘You learn to live with it, what happened. But obviously, being such a major event it probably will be, if it isn’t already, one of the most televised and reported events that has happened in modern times,’ Mr Daniels said.

‘Your stomach still churns when you see the towers go down. It is alive in the memory but it is brought back when you see it replayed.’

The UK suffered more losses in the September 11 2001 attacks on America than any other country apart from the US itself.

Chaos: Rick Rescorla, who was head of security for banking firm Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, is credited with saving 2,700 people by making sure they left the World Trade Centre's South Tower before it collapsed
 Chaos: Rick Rescorla, who was head of security for banking firm Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, is credited with saving 2,700 people by making sure they left the World Trade Centre’s South Tower before it collapsed.

Families of the 67 Britons killed in the 9/11 atrocities will next week remember the moment a decade ago when their lives were torn apart.

They were among the 2,977 people killed when terrorists hijacked four passenger jets and flew them into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in Washington DC.

Members of about 30 of the bereaved families will attend a remembrance ceremony at the September 11 memorial garden next to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.

Another 10 or so will travel to New York for the events organised by the US authorities at Ground Zero, the former site of the World Trade Centre.

Rick Rescorla
Rick Rescorla
                  Tragic: Rick Rescorla helped save thousands of people on 9/11

Born Cyril Richard Rescorla in Cornwall with a spirit for adventure, he was a larger-than-life ‘action hero’ who wanted to join the military from an early age.  He served with the British Army, changing his name to Rick from Cyril, which he hated, on joining the Parachute Regiment.

He later served with military intelligence in Cyprus. Jobs with the Metropolitan Police and North Rhodesia Police, in what is now Zambia, followed before he emigrated to the U.S. and joined the United States Army.

As Second Lieutenant Rescorla of the 7th Cavalry, he saw action in the battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam in 1965, earning the nickname ‘Hard Core’ because of his bravery.

Memories: Families of the 67 Britons killed in the 9/11 atrocities will next week remember the moment a decade ago when their lives were torn apart
Memories: Families of the 67 Britons killed in the 9/11 atrocities will next week remember the moment a decade ago when their lives were torn apart.
Susan Rescorla
Wedding picture
Married: Susan Rescorla (left) at home with a picture of her husband, and together with him on their wedding day(right).

He was awarded medals including the Silver Star and a picture of him in action forms the cover of We Were Soldiers Once…And Young, a book which was later turned into the 2002 Mel Gibson film We Were Soldiers.

On returning to civilian life he went to university and had a number of jobs before joining Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, living with second wife Susan in New Jersey but often coming back to his native Cornwall to visit friends and family.

But after warning bosses about the possibly of a terror attack, fate was against him. On September 11 he should not even have been at work but on his way to his stepdaughter’s wedding.

Mr Daniels recalls his wife hearing about the attack on the radio and telephoning him.

He said: ‘I turned on the television and saw the North Tower ablaze and smoke billowing from it and just watched events unfold from there.

Memorial: Susan Rescorla at the memorial to her late husband in his home town of Hayle in Cornwall
Memorial: Susan Rescorla at the memorial to her late husband in his home town of Hayle in Cornwall.

‘I saw the second plane smash into the South Tower. We knew Rick was not meant to be there that day. He’d only gone in because a colleague couldn’t work.

‘Rick was meant to be on his way to Europe so as events turned out he was just unlucky to have been there that day really.

Terrifying: Pedestrians run from the World Trade Centre after the terrorist attack
 Terrifying:  Pedestrians run from the World Trade Centre after the terrorist attack

We phoned his wife Susan and she confirmed that he was in there. Rick had phoned her after the planes hit and spoke to her, but from then on, we all know from looking at the television pictures that there was no hope then.

‘Early on you hold out hope that he may have gotten out somehow or been trapped but still alive in the building. But it was obviously not meant to be.’

A picture, taken after the attack started, shows Mr Rescorla, megaphone in hand, guiding staff down stairs to safety.

Workers recalled him singing patriotic songs, including a Cornish adaptation of Men of Harlech as he led them down. So well-drilled were the staff that just three, including        Mr Rescorla, died in the attack.

But he was still in the tower when it collapsed. His remains have never been found.

‘I’m very proud of Rick. That was just the way he was, prepared for any eventuality and looking after other people,’ Mr Daniels said.  ‘He would always be the last person out and make sure everyone else got out safely.’

Several memorials were erected in his honour. A statue of him, based on the cover of We Were Soldiers Once…And Young, is now on permanent display on The Walk Of Heroes at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning, Georgia, the town where he trained.

And in Hayle a memorial was erected, hailing his heroics on September 11.

Happy: Susan Rescorla with husband Rick
                                 Happy: Susan Rescorla with husband Rick

‘It is good to have something in his home town that can let people know of what he did on September 11 and be very proud of him,’ Mr Daniels added.

On March 25, 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Above & Beyond Citizen Medal – the most prestigious civilian award in the United States.

The main event in the UK to commemorate the landmark anniversary will be the ceremony at London’s September 11 memorial garden, which was opened by the Princess Royal in 2003.

In what has become a poignant tradition, relatives will read out the names of the British victims of the attacks and lay a white rose for each one on a memorial stone beneath bronze plaques listing them all.

Memorial services will also be held at St Paul’s Cathedral in the morning and at Westminster Abbey in the evening.

In New York there will be a concert at the British Memorial Garden site in Hanover Square, which is just half a mile from Ground Zero and also commemorates the 67 UK victims.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2033919/Twin-Towers-hero-predicted-terror-attacks-led-2-700-safety–died-went-look-stragglers.html#ixzz1XVADgMd2

See these websites/articles as well

http://www.mudvillegazette.com/000307.html

http://rickrescorla.com/

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002/02/11/020211fa_fact_stewart

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About WeeWeed

Sarcastic cat herder extraordinaire. And an angel.
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20 Responses to Rick Rescorla – The Man Who Predicted 9/11

  1. czarowniczy says:

    Yes, another person who realized the efforts to take down the Twin Towers was more than a random lone wolf attack, it was an item of jihadist doctrine due to what the WTC represented. He also connected the dots post-bojinka and had a flash on how they’d most likely do it. I wish he’d have survived as he’d have been a major thorn in the government intel infrastructure’s side.

    Like

    • partyzant says:

      Czar,
      He sounds like a mensch, he left the world poorer for his passing.
      I am sure that he would appreciate what the differences are between the government assessment and other “community” assessments…http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/30/government-assessment-syrian-government-s-use-chemical-weapons-august-21
      Compare and contrast a similar document https://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2011_hr/031011clapper.pdf
      Why the difference? Are they next to issue a HHS or HUD decree Ex Cathedra?

      Like

      • czarowniczy says:

        It’s not about who you know but about who you snow. Everyone, public, private or government has some pressure from somewhere to tilt a report this way or that. What we do know is that Syria has a Shiite load of various chemical weapons – how many we ain’t sure (good guess is around 1000-tons, CIA estimate. Best bet is that even Assad doesn’t know the totals as they were acquired over decades under dad and those folk ain’t that good at records keeping. In all fairness we weren’t even sure what our totals were so every few years Congress would authorize cash to do a head count. My favorite was when a bunker was opened up at Tooele Depot and some ‘live’ shells with gas in them were found to be dummy shells that had been repainted to make an inventory match. What I’m sure of is that Assad/Russians fired that gas and it wasn’t the first time during this mess they’ve used it. Since no one knows how much Assad has I’m also sure that the US will be spending tons of money, as we did in Russia post-1989, to help the poor babies destroy their stocks. First, and probably only, ones Assad will turn over are the old and corroded systems even he doesn’t want to touch and likely older and less effective choking, blister and 1st generation nerve gasses. It’s gonna cost a bunch as the systems to move, handle, open, destroy the agents and cleanse the containers is one-of-a-kind and damned expensive – as are the technicians to run them. No pouring it out in a tub and sloshing STB and/or DANC on it, this is high-tech furnace. When we’re done we won’t even be sure we’re done.

        Like

  2. czarowniczy says:

    ‘They were among the 2,977 people killed’ – should read ‘They were among the 2,977 people murdered…’

    Like

    • partyzant says:

      An important distinction, they were non-combatants.

      Like

      • czarowniczy says:

        I find the use of the word ‘killed’ to carry a lesser and fuzzier connotation than ‘murdered’. You can kill in a justifiable situation – murder, unless you’re in the position where you can issue a fatwa, is strictly a crime.

        Like

    • stella says:

      In W’s speech, I noticed he mentions the “murders”.

      Like

      • czarowniczy says:

        Yeah, only the progressive apologists use ‘kill’ or some other slimy word to lessen the impact of what Muslim fundamentalist (more words they don’t use) terrorists (another fast-fading word) did. Progs forgive, forget and enable.

        Like

  3. Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses and commented:
    RIP

    Like

  4. He sounds like a remarkable man and someone I would have loved to have known. I’m sure he is missed tremendously by those who knew and loved him. God Bless another hero lost at the hand of the devils of Islam.

    Like

  5. Pingback: VIDEO We should never ‘move on’ from the evil, pain, loss, lessons of September 11 | Reclaim Our Republic

  6. stella says:

    Wonderful guy. So sad that he was lost, but he saved so many others.

    Like

  7. CrankyinAZ says:

    A true hero… to have saved so many others, to have risen above the chaos and fear of that day to lead the frightened and vulnerable people to safety…surely, he must have seemed like an angel to those that sad day.

    Like

  8. Stormy says:

    He stood in the gap.

    Ezekiel 22:30 – “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.”

    A legend and a hero.

    Like

  9. Be Ge says:

    Rest in peace, Rick Rescorla, the hero of an undeclared war versus an undeclared enemy.

    Like

  10. Nikos Lorris says:

    I met Rick for the first time at the reception station at Ft Dix, N.J. in 1964. We spent the next 9 weeks together in Basic training. Two years later I served with him again in Viet-Nam. 7th Cavalry. A great SOLDIER and a Great American. R.I.P.

    Like

  11. Nikos Lorris says:

    I met Rick at the reception center at Ft. Dix, N.J. It was April 1964. After Basic training we went different ways. Two years later, after Rick had gone to OCS and I went to Jump School, we met again in Viet-Nam. He was my platoon leader. Delta RECON (LRP) , 7th Cavalry, An-Khe, RVN .
    He was a great guy and an outstanding soldier. May he rest in peace and may his memory be eternal . A HERO in Viet-Nam and a HERO on 9/11.

    Like

  12. Kay Cook says:

    FAO Susan Greer Rescorla. Your husband’s story and actions touched me so deeply I have been inspired to read all I can about him and to watch the documentaries. I just want to say I think he was so special. He has left a legacy which both inspires and reassures. In a world which often sees those who achieve expected outcomes as heroes his story brings a reminder that true heroism and true holism is something greater than the mere achievement of goals. Heroic men and woman have within them a drive to create right outcomes whatever the personal cost and to never give up on this. True heroes love life and everything in it with great passion but are still prepared to pay the ultimate price. Rick extolled this virtue throughout his life, although I never met him in my own times of trial his story inspires and strengthens a willingness to look deeper within myself. Susan your book touched by a hero is wonderful and your capacity to share makes you a true heroine.

    Like

  13. Niko says:

    I met Rick in April of 1964 at Ft Dix, NJ Reception center. We went through Basic Training at the 3rd Training Regt…….TWO years later I served with him again in Viet-Nam. He was the Platoon Leader of 7th Cavalry…..DELTA RECON. He was a great leader and a great American Hero in the bush and again on 9/11. R.I.P. Rick Rescorla.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Laura Armstrong says:

    I first “met” Rick one day in 1992, when he called my home to tell me my father had saved his life in Vietnam. We had a wonderful conversation and he gave me many great details about my dad’s heroism in combat (he was a helicopter pilot and had answered Rick’s call for help as they were being chased “down a dry creek bed” which I think might’ve been during the battle for the Ia Drang (but not sure). I enjoyed talking to him immensely. His warmth and generosity when it came to sharing details about my father were such a gift. After the first truck bomb a couple months later, I hoped he was all right, then I sort of forgot about the call. It wasn’t until a year after 9-11 that I happened to be listening to a documentary and thought, “wow, that name sounds familiar.” Then I put two and two together and realized…if my dad had not saved him in 1965, he would not have saved all of those souls on 9-11! How many “Ripples of Battle” do we NOT know about?

    Liked by 3 people

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