The Legendary Vietnam Veteran And Security Guard Who Sacrificed His Life To Save Thousands On 9/11

Rescorla

Many heroes lost their lives on 9/11 when the towers collapsed. One was a Vietnam Veteran turned Head of Security for Morgan Stanley.

Bad Feeling

British-born Rick Rescorla was always concerned about the safety of the World Trade Center. When it was attacked in 1993 by a terrorist bombing, he always thought that it could happen again.

One of his main grievances was that the building evacuation did not go as well as it could have. He wanted to make sure that the evacuation would go smoothly if the towers were ever attacked again.

In 1997, he became the director of security for Dean Witter/ Morgan Stanley. He was sure that the Trade Center remained incredibly vulnerable and wanted the company to move to a different location.

However, the company had leasing obligations and could not move to a different building. So Rescola went to work crafting an emergency evacuation plan, which the employees practiced continually.

Rescorla could not shake the feeling that a terrorist attack could happen again. So when the towers were attacked on 9/11, he and the other employees were ready.

Conflicting Announcements

The Port Authority announced that everyone in the World Trade Center South Tower should stay where they were and stay calm. However, Rescorla did not think that was the right call and had the employees start the evacuation process.

He grabbed a bullhorn and ordered the employees to evacuate. Nearly 2,700 employees were headed down the stairs by the time the second plane hit, and they all owe their lives to Rescorla’s quick thinking.

He worked to keep people calm, singing inspirational songs. Because of his planning and quick thinking, almost all of the Morgan Stanley employees made it out alive.

They only lost 13, one of which was Rescorla himself. Unfortunately, he was in the building when it collapsed, and his body was never recovered.

Sources: 1, 2

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