Rick Rescorla’s 9/11 Call to Duty and the 2,700 lives he saved

The tremendous event referred to so simply as 9/11, is marked today on Military Success Network by remembering, in memoriam, just one hero of the many of the day that gripped America’s citizens and service members, and the world.

Rick Rescorla

Rick Rescorla

Rick Rescorla served as Vice President of Security for Morgan Stanley at their Headquarters in the World Trade Center. After the terrorist attacks of 1993 on the World Trade Center, he had predicted the risk that came true in the 9/11 tragedy

As a result of his military training and his allegiance he swore to America, his adopted home, Rescorla put in place a comprehensive practice of regular drills for all Morgan Stanley employees. He was committed to preparing for what he felt would surely come. So, regardless of their position in the company, or their perception of the importance of their activity at the moment of the drill, every worker at the towers’ largest financial institution was expected to participate in disaster preparedness and response, especially evacuation.

On 9/11, Rescorla personally led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley’s 2,700 employees. All but six of the firm’s employees in the South Tower survived.

An indomitable spirit  and shining example of leadership and insight, he was last seen on the 10th floor and climbing up to look for any stragglers when the tower fell. In his final phone call to his wife, Susan, he said it was his duty to save all the souls he could.. And, that in case he didn’t survive, she should know that his time with her was the happiest of his life.

Only one man’s story. Yet, it is interwoven with the fabric of history and that of the families of all the other individuals who were lost and the communities who remember each one, and their story.

Cyril Richard Rescorla’s story reminds of us the stuff our men and women of the military are made of. Your experience, respected reader, can and does benefit anyone your transition from military duty to daily civilian life touches.

More on Rick Rescorla and his actions on 9/11 can be found at this and other resources online.

You may find this remembrance of Rescorla’s predictions, the events of the day and the survivors testimony of his actions that saved so many lives as riveting as I did:

You may be interested in  The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience.   The link takes you to the eligibility criteria and a description. A portion of the the Award definition is quoted here:

“The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) first national resilience award for superior leadership and innovation by a non-governmental individual or organization who exemplifies the qualities and achievements of Rick Rescorla, emphasizing leadership in effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters.”

Thank you dear reader for your service and for standing with us to remember this day when citizens were felled and service members answered an extraordinary call to duty.


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