Friday, September 9, 2011

Ten Years Later

Ask someone to name a hero these days, and you're likely to get the name of an athlete or an entertainer, someone who gets paid millions to ply a trade that presents about as much risk to life and limb as waiting tables.

We're somehow too cool to have real heroes any more, people who willingly put themselves in harm's way for someone else's benefit. Most of the time, the only popular recognition they get is when their heroism is of the man-bites-dog variety and the local eyewitless news sends someone over to film the eight-year-old who rescued his entire family from their burning house three days after he did the same thing for his neighbors. And having had his fifteen seconds of fame, he fades back into the crowd and we turn our attention back to the vulgar doings of Snooki and The Situation.

We know the names of the evil and the deranged. We know who Jared Lee Loughner is, but do we know the names of the people who subdued him and saved Gabrielle Giffords's life?

So ten years later, you doubtless recognize the name Muhammad Atta.

And you probably don't know the name of the man who single-handedly saved almost as many lives on September 11, 2001, as Atta destroyed that day.

Yes, he'd served in the U.S. Army

You don't know the name of the man who survived the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and, convinced that it would happen again, used his position as his company's director of security, to implement a program of emergency evacuation procedures. Every three months, everyone at his company's office in the World Trade Center was required to participate in emergency evacuation drills. Everyone - even the corner office executives.

And you don't know the name of the man who, on September 11, 2001, calmly supervised the evacuation of his company's 2,700 employees - after building officials announced the building was safe and they should return to their desks. The man who kept everyone calm, who reminded them of the drills they had practiced, who sang God Bless America and other songs of his native Cornwall through his megaphone.
September 11th's greatest hero, on the day he died

The man who, after all his employees were safe, went back into the building to make sure everyone got out.

Who was last seen on the tenth floor of World Trade Center Tower 2, going up, and whose body was never recovered.

There is no monument or memorial to him at Ground Zero, and are apparently no plans for one. We're too cool to have heroes any more.

Rick Rescorla. September 11th's greatest hero.


  1. Thank you for the education! God bless.

  2. Thanks for this!
    I live in Dorset and -given his Cornish roots-will look into his story

  3. Yes, thank you, for reminding me. I saw an in depth documentary about 9/11 several years ago in which Mr. Rescorla's wonderful and heroic story was featured. Such an enormous sacrifice and such bulldog tenaciousness that saved all those people from the attack. Praise God for him. Thanks for the remembrance of a true hero.