Cyril Richard Rescorla, better known as Rick. Born in England, he came to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army. He fought in Vietnam, in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley, made famous in the movie starring Mel Gibson, We Were Soldiers Once.
Rick was the VP of security for a brokerage firm on Wall Street–with offices at the World Trade Center. He was hardnosed and he took his job seriously, putting his companies employees through fire drill after annoying fire drill.
I’ll let Bill Gertz, author and Washington Times reporter, tell you the rest of the story:
On September 11, the evacuation was real. A fireball erupted in the nearby tower, and all of Morgan Stanley’s employees were making their way down and out of the other tower. By the time the second hijacked airliner hit the south tower at 9:07 a.m., most of the company’s employees were out. But Rescorla’s work was not finished. Three employees were missing. Rescorla and two assistants went back to look for them. Rescorla was last seen on the tenth floor of the burning tower. He died when the building collapsed a short time later. But he had saved thousands of lives. Out of 3,700 employees, Morgan Stanley lost only six, including Rescorla. R. James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence, sees Rescorla as the kind of person urgently needed by U.S. intelligence. An iconoclast and strategic thinker who wasn’t afraid to buck the system, Rescorla “is an example of somebody who should have probably been at the top of the intelligence community, but wasn’t,” Woolsey told me. “He’s a perfect example of the kind of guy that the Germans say has fingerspitzengefÃ¼hl â€” fingertip feel” or intuition, he said. “God, it would have been wonderful if he had been the head of the DO’s [the CIA’s Directorate of Operations] counterterrorist operations, but at least he saved 3,700 people.”
Read the rest of this fantastic excerpt here.