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OP/ED: A Voice in the Wilderness, The Story of Rick Rescorla--American Hero

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posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 01:01 AM
Before tonight, I had never heard of Rick Rescorla, but having learned of him, I think I shall never forget him. It seems odd to me that there are those among us who have so much heart, so much courage, and somehow manage to never garner the attention they deserve. In the case of Rescorla, he certainly influenced those closest to him and thus his influence will reverberate throughout eternity, but if this man had had the attention of our nation's leaders, we'd be living in a very different world today.

Cyril Richard Rescorla was born in Hayle, Cornwall, England in 1939. His earliest memories were of the Americans who came to England to prepare for the invasion of Europe and he was smitten by all things American. It is said by some that he stopped calling himself Cyril and called himself Rick, because it sounded so rugged, so adventurous, so American.

In 1957, Rescorla began what was to become a storied military career by enlisting in the British Army during which time he served in Cypress in an intelligence unit. Later he served in a para-military police unit in what was then called Rhodesia and later served with the London Metropolitan Police.

But, in 1963, Rescorla made a decision that in hindsight set him on a course with destiny. Rick Rescorla enlisted in the United States Army. After completing basic training, he then attended Officers' Candidate School where he earned his commission and then he attended airborne school after which he was shipped out to serve in Vietnam.

In the Ia Drang Valley, Rescorla distinguished himself on the battlefield by earning a Silver Star in one of the bloodiest battles of the war in Vietnam. The battle was memorialized in the book and the movie called, "We Were Soldiers Once...and Young."

After Vietnam, Rescorla did what many have said was his lifelong dream. He became a US citizen. While continuing to serve in the Army Reserve, he earned college and law degrees, married and started a family.

It would seem that for most men that would have been the beginning of life of obscurity and mediocrity. But, for Rick Rescorla, it was really the beginning of a mission that would change the lives of some 2700 people and, perhaps, the world. In 1985, Rick took a job in corporate security with Dean Witter in the World Trade Center.

Immediately, Rescorla understood the kind of target the WTC was to the enemies of the United States. Not only that, but Rick had been paying attention to US foreign policy over the years and he understood the nature of our enemies far better than even those at the highest levels of government.

With the help of qualified friends, whom he hired as security consultants, Rescorla did a top to bottom security analysis of the WTC and came to the conclusion that the parking garage under the Trade Center was it's Achilles' Heel. But despite his report to his superiors, no action was taken and in 1993, Islamic fundamentalist terrorists drove a truck loaded with explosives into the parking garage and ignited it. Six people died and three-hundred were injured in the chaos that resulted. Many noted that Rescorla was the last man out of the towers, having first made sure that those in his charge were evacuated.

From that day forward, Rescorla instituted a security regime that confronted the terror threat head on. He was convinced that terrorists would strike again and that the next time it could very well be from the air. His security plan was comprehensive and in the minds of some, obsessive, when the evacuation drills continued years after the attack of 1993.

But on September 11, 2001, Rick Rescorla once again became a hero, and in the minds of many, he became a prophet--that voice in the wilderness. When the first plane struck the first tower, Rick Rescorla went full force into his planned evacuation, making sure that every one of Morgan Stanley Dean Witters' more than 2000 employees were evacuated from the second tower, despite the announcements by the Port Authority that employees should remain at their desks, so as not to interfere with rescue efforts in the stricken tower. Rick Rescorla's body has never been found. He was last seen on the tenth floor of the second tower going back up, after all his people were safely evacuated, to help others who were trapped.

It seems a shame that it took me over six years to learn of this man's life and his impact on history. I did a search here at ATS and his name yields not a single hit. Here we have man who was born in England, served with distinction in our Army in the most unpopular war in our history, who predicted not one, but two attacks on two of the most prominent icons of our nation, who sang "God Bless America" and other songs over his bullhorn to keep up morale as his people descended some seventy floors to safety and who died helping those for whom he had no responsibility, except as we all have for our fellow men.

I would ask our members and readers to take the time to read about this genuine American hero, to watch the documentaries "The Man Who Predicted 9/11" and "Voice of the Prophet" and to consider the magnitude of this man's character. We don't hear much about flesh and blood heroes in today's America and it's a real shame that such a man could have lived and died and most of us might have never noticed.

Medal of Freedom
Rick Rescorla

[edit on 2006/1/8 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 04:57 AM
Yes, I caught the show last night on the History Channel I believe.

One thing I think should be clarified though, is that the title (of the show)was in my view misleading. It wasn't a case of prediction as much as discernment, and I think it was confusing, as a prediction leaves the impression of a prophesy, as oppossed to what this man really had, which was insight, making his story to me even more incredible.

He assessed the security risks and recognized them, accurately deducting the target and the means by which the attacks (both the underground parking bomb and the plane attacks) would come. He therefore was ready to protect the lives of those he was responsible for when it happened. I wish the guy had not made the ultimate sacrifice for it. He should have been in charge of National Security, not just one financial institution.

This was one incredible man.

posted on Jan, 8 2006 @ 06:18 AM
Strange you hadn't heard of him, but I suppose you might not have done if you weren't looking, if you know what I mean...

The BBC did a piece on this man some years back after 9/11, which is the reason I know of him.

Brave man, certainly worthy of a pothumous award for what he did on that day. perhaps even something from his country of Birth. It wouldn;t be too far fetched to award him something in the Honours dished out every year.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 10:19 AM
Man, too bad this guy wasn't in charge of security for the two towers, rather than just one company within it.

hell, to bad he wasn't in charge of security for the country!

What is the basis for saying that he figured the next attack would be from the air though? A journal of his or something?

[edit on 9-1-2006 by Nygdan]

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 01:21 PM

What is the basis for saying that he figured the next attack would be from the air though? A journal of his or something?

That was information I gleaned from the documentary, "The Man Who Predicted 9/11."

Rescorla was convinced that Osama Bin Laden would use jet planes to try and destroy the World Trade Center.

[edit on 2006/1/9 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 05:08 PM
A true unsung hero. What Mr. Rescorla did should serve to remid us all that potential heroes walk among us everyday. Most we will never recognize or ever have occassion to note unless something truely extraordinary happens to bring them to our awareness. What a pity such people go unrewarded and unrecognized for they could truely serve as role models for us all.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 05:18 PM

Originally posted by Nygdan
What is the basis for saying that he figured the next attack would be from the air though? A journal of his or something?

[edit on 9-1-2006 by Nygdan]

According to the documentary, he had enlisted a whole team of life long friends and they consulted on this, analyzing the building, the security, the risks, etc. They even did flight simulations to see how hard it would be to do it, once they figured that's where the next attack would come from. They really hit the nail on the head.

He knew the minute the first plane hit that's what it was and got his people out, even though the port authority was telling people in the second tower to go back to work.

Anyone who gets a chance to see this documentary (I'm sure there will be a round of repeats - it's the History Channel) do it.

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 05:49 PM
This is proof, that we should all have the right to question official direction and instruction...

when the feds said "stay", he said get the hell out, and in so doing, removed another 2000 potential victims from the federal victim list...

to all the unknown heros out there....
thank you!

posted on Jan, 9 2006 @ 07:01 PM
Kind of reminds me of the movie "Fight Club", though for different reasons.

People figuratively piss on the security guys with slang and slurs. We disrespect the waiters and fast food guys. We disrespect the cops and complain about the budget for the firemen. We typecast soldiers as stupid killing machines. We think we're better than the shopkeepers of the little stores and the clerks in the bigger ones.

Of course, we deny having such elitist feelings vehemently, and to paraphrase The Bard, methinks we protest way too much.

It's these guys who make the difference. Who have *always* made the difference. Not the lawyers with their suits. Not the rock stars with their benefit concerts. Not the politicians with the speeches. These folks take all the glory, wave around the attitude that they mean squat in the real world. But they do nothing without the armies of regular joes. The salt of the earth, the everyday wage earner.

The same guys Hollywood snobs and San Franciscan liberals clown on with terms like "red stater", "redneck", "fundamentalist". The guys who get dirty and do the work-and who see things how they are. Not based on middle management reports and meetings and crap the business and political world thinks is so important.

We've seen time and again how well the MBA style of managment works in both business and politics. Makes for tidy short term profit for a select few, but the rest get screwed, and eventually the whole thing fails.

But as long as self important MBA types are glorified by their MBA type Media counterparts, and their own inner circles feed the seats of power in an almost incestuous dance, the actions of the everyday citizen turned Hero will be one of the few things saving us from complete disaster.

But, will they be enough?

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