Sept. 11, 2001
If you were old enough, Sept. 11, 2001 is one of those days when you remember exactly where you were when you first heard the news.
I was certainly old enough and I was in court.
We now call this day 9/11.
As I’m sure most of us know, there were thousands of innocent people who died that day and in the days thereafter. However, due to the actions of some incredible heroes, many lives were saved.
Today I’d like to share two of the many hero stories.
There were three jets, which individually struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. There was also a fourth hijacked jet, which crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania on its way to Washington, D.C. targeting the Capitol Building or the White House.
This crash was as a result of the passengers overcoming all odds and taking control of the plane from the hijackers. They were led by four men, including one Todd Beamer, who famously told the rest “Let’s Roll” before they stormed the cockpit. Tragically, all of the passengers died, but Washington, D.C. was spared.
Rick Rescorla was a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who grew up in the United Kingdom. When his men were under fire, he would often sing to them to keep them calm.
On 9/11, he was the head of corporate security for Morgan Stanley in the South Tower. When the first jet hit the North Tower he was told to keep the employees at their desks. He knew that was wrong and instead ordered everyone to leave the building. While they were evacuating, he calmly reassured them by singing “God Bless America” and the British song “Men of Harlech” over a bullhorn.
Sixteen minutes after the first plane hit, the second plane struck the South Tower. By then over 2,700 employees and visitors had been evacuated thanks to Mr. Rescorla.
During the evacuation, he had called his wife to tell her he loved her and if anything happened to him, she had made his life. He was last seen on the 10th floor of the South Tower heading upward making sure everyone was safely out. His body was never found.
This Friday marks the 19th anniversary of 9/11.
Let us never forget.