Trump honors Jersey man who gave his life on 9/11 to save others
Nov. 08, 2019
WASHINGTON — Richard Rescorla of Morristown was working in the World Trade Center’s South Tower when he saw an airplane hit the north tower on 9/11. As executive vice president of security for Morgan Stanley, he immediately began evacuating the building.
Some 2,700 people are alive today because they heeded Rescorla’s warning and direction to evacuate.
“That night, those 2,700 people went home to their loved ones,” President Donald Trump said Thursday. “In the 18 years since, they have raised families, sent their children to college, walked their sons and daughters down the aisle, held their grandchildren — thanks, in great measure, to one extraordinary American.”
Rescorla never made it out himself. He was still evacuating the South Tower when it, too, was hit by an airplane and collapsed.
Trump welcomed that heroism Thursday in posthumously awarding Rescorla the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor after the Presidential Medal of Freedom..
Trump presented the medal to Rescorla’s widow, Susan, at a White House ceremony as the Rescorlas’ children, Trevor and Kim, looked on.
“Today is a day to be proud to be an American because the world is still looking at us,” she said. “And all of you here have contributed to keeping Rick’s work and story alive so it will be in the forefront of the American memory.”
Rescorla was a Vietnam veteran , winning two Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Sixty men who fought with him in Vietnam attended the ceremony, as did a dozen 9/11 first responders.
“We can never reverse the horrors of that day,” Trump said. “We can never replace the precious lives we lost. But on behalf of our entire nation, I pledge that we will forever and always remember this incredible American hero, Colonel Rick Rescorla. We will never, ever forget.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-9th Dist., has been a fierce critic of Trump, but he joined in celebrating Rescorla’s heroism.
“When Americans attempt to bring to words the heroism of that terrible day, Rick Rescorla is who we always remember," Pascrell said in a statement. “When he could have escaped, Rick went back into the smoldering buildings to see if anyone else in his firm remained. He quite literally sacrificed his life to save others.”
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