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Fort Benning unveils statue of Sept. 11, Vietnam hero
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer ^ | 4/2/06 | AP Staff

Posted on 04/04/2006 7:36:13 AM PDT by T-Bird45

COLUMBUS, Ga. - More than 500 people attended the unveiling of a statue honoring Rick Rescorla, the decorated Vietnam veteran who, as security chief for Morgan Stanley, led hundreds of people to safety from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The statue was put up Saturday at Fort Benning, in west-central Georgia, where Rescorla attended Officer Candidate School, though it was sent back to storage after the ceremony while a permanent pedestal is being built. Fort Benning's National Infantry Museum already has a portrait of the former Army Colonel.

"There was never any question as where to put the statue of Rick," said his widow, Susan Rescorla. "It was here he went to OCS and from here that he left for Vietnam."

Rescorla died on Sept. 11 after helping evacuate 2,700 employees from the World Trade Center. The 62-year-old was last seen going up stairs of the south tower, looking for stragglers in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

"If he hadn't done his job the way he did, the death toll at the Trade Center would probably be twice what it is today," said author Joe Galloway, who met Rescorla at the 1965 battle at Ia Drang in Vietnam and wrote about it the best-selling book "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young," which was made into a movie starring Mel Gibson.

A young Rescorla carrying a rifle at Ia Drang, pictured on the book's cover, was the inspiration for the bronze statue.

Rescorla was awarded both the Silver and Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam. Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, who co-authored the book with Galloway and attended the unveiling, called Rescorla "the best combat platoon leader I ever served with."

Rescorla's widow said the lessons he learned in Vietnam made the difference on Sept. 11.

"He made one last sweep, as he'd learned at Ia Drang, and was determined not to leave a single soldier behind," she said.

Rescorla was born in England. After Vietnam, where he served with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, he became a U.S. citizen.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: 911; aloharonnie; hero; iadrangvalley; rescorla; rickrescorla; weweresoldiers; wtc
Hero gets recognition from his professional peers with a statue to epitomize the "Follow Me" spirit of the Infantry.
1 posted on 04/04/2006 7:36:17 AM PDT by T-Bird45
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To: T-Bird45; ALOHA RONNIE

fyi - article ran Sunday but didn't come up on search.

Enjoy...


2 posted on 04/04/2006 7:37:43 AM PDT by T-Bird45
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To: T-Bird45

In the tradition of "Iron Mike" ....


3 posted on 04/04/2006 7:39:19 AM PDT by Yasotay
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To: T-Bird45

Hero bump


4 posted on 04/04/2006 7:40:23 AM PDT by investigateworld (Abortion stops a beating heart)
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To: T-Bird45

Bump!


5 posted on 04/04/2006 7:43:12 AM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: T-Bird45

6 posted on 04/04/2006 7:46:37 AM PDT by AmericanMade1776
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To: T-Bird45

Will look for it my next trip to Ft. Benning.

thanks.


7 posted on 04/04/2006 7:46:57 AM PDT by peacebaby (living fast forward, now I need to rewind real slow)
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To: T-Bird45

 

Click the picture...

8 posted on 04/04/2006 7:48:37 AM PDT by Fintan (Hey, you can't make this stuff up.)
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To: T-Bird45

A real hero, God Bless Him and the United States.


9 posted on 04/04/2006 8:02:22 AM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: T-Bird45

said this photo was taken right before south tower collapsed... rick is with the bullhorn evacuating people.

10 posted on 04/04/2006 8:09:51 AM PDT by Battle Hymn of the Republic
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To: T-Bird45

http://www.tradoc.army.mil/pao/people_portraits/032005.htm

Vietnam, 9-11 hero honored at Benning
Rescorla’s widow unveils portrait at infantry museum

Story and photo by Bridgett Siter/The Bayonet

FORT BENNING, Ga. (TRADOC News Service, March 11, 2005) – If war heroes, like athletes, had signature moves, Rick Rescorla’s would be the “final sweep.”

That’s 2nd Lt. Rescorla featured on the cover of We Were Soldiers Once … And Young conducting a final sweep on Vietnam’s bloody Ia Drang battlefield in 1965. It was a clean sweep – Rescorla brought all his men out, all but one alive.

And that’s retired Col. Rescorla featured in what has become a familiar image of 9-11, a barrel-chested man with a bullhorn overseeing the evacuation of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. As the vice president of corporate security for Morgan Stanley, Rescorla was responsible for the safety of more than 2,700 employees. All but six made it out alive. Rescorla died making a final sweep.

“He saved 2,700 lives, only to give his own,” wrote James Stewart in Heart of a Soldier, a tribute to the man they called “Hard Core” in Vietnam because he sang soothing Cornish folk songs while the battle raged all around him.

When Rescorla’s widow, Susan, visited Fort Benning last week to unveil his portrait at the National Infantry Museum, she described a big, strong man with a big, soft heart. Doctors had diagnosed prostate cancer and gave him six months to live back in 1998, months before she met him while out walking her dog.

They fell in love soon after, and when Rescorla’s cancer went into remission, he credited Susan. He sang to her a Cornish ballad, “White Rose,” and sent her dozens of white roses every week. And he proposed. The couple had been married two years when he was killed.

Now Susan has made it her mission to erect a bronze statue of Rescorla at Fort Benning, where he attended basic training and Officer Candidate School. It would be the first of its kind, a statue depicting and honoring an individual. That would be fitting, his wife said, because Rescorla was one of a kind, “a new hero for a new millennium.”

But Rescorla’s story began more than 60 years before the new millennium, in Cornwall, England, home of the legendary King Arthur, where these days they sing “The Ballad of Ricky Rescorla.” He left home at 18 and served with the Queen’s army in Cyprus before joining the Colonial Police in Rhodesia. There he met Dan Hill, a “freelance soldier” who would become a lifelong friend.

“What now?” Hill asked Rescorla as they prepared to leave Rhodesia.

“I want to fight communism,” Rescorla said.

“Then come to America with me,” his friend replied. “We’ll fight it together.”

That’s how Rescorla came to be a platoon leader with B Company of the 7th Cavalry’s 2nd Battalion. B Co. came to the aid of 1st Battalion, which was being chewed up by 2,000 North Vietnamese forces in one of U.S. history’s bloodiest battles. And that’s how war correspondent Peter Arnett captured the photo of Rescorla conducting a final sweep, with his M-16, bayonet fixed, leading the way.

Rescorla left active duty in 1967 but remained with the Reserves and retired as colonel in 1990. By then he’d earned a law degree, owned a construction company, served as military instructor, professor and occasional writer.

But it was in his position as security chief for Morgan Stanley that Rescorla shined, using the skills and logic he’d honed on the battlefield. The employees were less than impressed when he instituted a regular evacuation drill for the company’s 30-plus floors.

“Everybody used to laugh. No one took it seriously,” one employee told Jane Pauley in a “Dateline” report last year. “He drilled it into our heads.”

That was before the truck-bomb attack in 1993. After that, Morgan Stanley employees trusted Rescorla’s instinct, and it served them well. When the first plane hit the North Tower in 2001, he ordered an immediate evacuation, despite assurance from World Trade Center officials that everything was all right and everyone should remain in their offices.

Morgan Stanley employees got an 18-minute head-start to safety. Along the way, someone snapped a picture of Rescorla with a bullhorn. He sang Cornish tunes, some later told Susan, and urged them to “be proud, it’s a great day to be an American.”

When the last of the Morgan Stanley employees passed his way, Rescorla headed back up the tower for a final sweep. It cost him his life, Susan said, but he gave it freely.

“He couldn’t have lived with himself if he made it out safe and lost someone there,” she said. “He was a Soldier on that day. He was doing what he did in Vietnam. I wouldn’t have expected anything less.”

Rescorla’s body was never recovered, a fact that Susan doesn’t dwell on.

“I don’t need a body. I don’t need a memorial at Ground Zero,” she said. “What I’d like is for people to never forget. Never forget what happened on 9-11.

“I’m proud of my husband, and I’m proud of America, and I’m proud of our Soldiers,” she said. “I want them to know this is not another Vietnam. They have our support.”

Susan would also like to see her husband awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and she’s collected 30,000 signatures petitioning Congress to do just that.

“When he was alive, he didn’t want to be honored for anything,” she said. “If he were here today, he’d be asking what all the fuss is about.

“I’m doing this for me. It’s how I deal with it. People say, ‘You know, after a while, you should get over it.’ I’ll never get over it. I’ve decided to live with my grief. I think about him everyday.”

Rescorla’s portrait, painted by Al Reid, and his medals, will be displayed on the first floor of the National Infantry Museum. Donations for his statue can be mailed to Rick Rescorla Memorial Fund, Post Office Box 128, Brookeside, NJ 07926.


11 posted on 04/04/2006 8:11:32 AM PDT by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
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To: 2Jedismom

Thought you might like to see this. Rick went to OU


12 posted on 04/04/2006 8:12:20 AM PDT by groovejedi
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To: T-Bird45

BTTT


13 posted on 04/04/2006 8:33:20 AM PDT by freema (Proud Marine FRiend, Mom, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Wife, Daughter, Niece)
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To: T-Bird45

Statue pictures are now posted at

http://www.rickrescorla.com/The%20Statue.htm


14 posted on 04/04/2006 1:33:13 PM PDT by Lexington Green ("Ho-ka hey! It is a good day to fight! It is a good day to die!)
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To: All; adam_az; T-Bird45; Fintan; Yasotay; investigateworld; AmericanMade1776; peacebaby; ...

.

NEVER FORGET


9/11's...


Lifesaver RICK RESCORLA's statue joyfully unveiled - Ft. Benning GA

http://www.Freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1608896/posts

(Statue unveiling TV Coverage - The History Channel
8pm - Sept. 11th, 2006)



See where RICK RESCORLA walked in Vietnam, exactly:

http://www.lzxray.com/guyer_set1.htm



NEVER FORGET

.


15 posted on 04/08/2006 6:56:54 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: T-Bird45; All

.

The Man Who Predicted 9/11: RICK RESCORLA, ..R.I.P.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24361

.


16 posted on 04/08/2006 7:01:50 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE
Thank you so much for your posts and links!
17 posted on 05/06/2006 7:35:49 AM PDT by jan in Colorado (Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum (If you wish for peace, prepare for war.))
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To: All; jan in Colorado

.

http://rickrescorla.com/the-statue/

.


18 posted on 09/03/2012 12:34:47 PM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE; T-Bird45; george76
Thank you SO much for the ping, ALOHA RONNIE! Really enjoyed the great pictures at the link.

"“I don’t need a body. I don’t need a memorial at Ground Zero,” she said. “What I’d like is for people to never forget. Never forget what happened on 9-11."

"Rescorla died on Sept. 11 after helping evacuate 2,700 employees from the World Trade Center. The 62-year-old was last seen going up stairs of the south tower, looking for stragglers in the aftermath of the terrorist attack."

God Bless Rick Rescorla, and his wife, who continues to honor him by keeping his memory alive. He lived a hero and he died a hero.

I look forward to taking a trip to Fort Benning to pay my respects to this great American.


19 posted on 09/03/2012 6:22:38 PM PDT by jan in Colorado (In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. --George Orwell.)
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To: thefactor

Benning ping...


20 posted on 09/03/2012 6:26:12 PM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: All; jan in Colorado; Pharmboy

.

..NEVER ever FORGET.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UcJo7dxOOU

..RICK RESCORLA.. http://rickrescorla.com

.


21 posted on 09/11/2012 3:04:13 AM PDT by ALOHA RONNIE ("ALOHA RONNIE" Guyer/Veteran-"WE WERE SOLDIERS" Battle of IA DRANG-1965 http://www.lzxray.com)
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To: ALOHA RONNIE

Just finished re-reading “We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young” yesterday.

Advise everyone to read it carefully at least once. The first time for the accounts of the steadfast courage displayed by the regular army officers and by the young draftees, many of whom were mere weeks away from their release dates.

The second time paying attention to the political policies of LBJ and McNamara prior and subsequent to this Ia Drang valley action. The policies that were from the outset designed for failure. Micro management of the war for parochial political gain by the man whose ‘Great Society’ legacy costs are still being paid today. May those men burn in hell forever.

Bless you for keeping the light of remembrance alive through your site. I salute you and your comrades in arms.


22 posted on 09/11/2012 3:51:00 AM PDT by Covenantor ("Men are ruled...by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
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To: Covenantor

Just finished re-reading “We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young” yesterday
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Excellent read and the movie is pretty decent also.

Another from that era you would probably enjoy is “A Bright Shining Lie”, Neil Sheehan about John Paul Vann, LTCOL who quit the Army and came back as USAID ‘fighter’.

Several works inre the USS Liberty fiasco show what buttheads Johnson/McNamara really were when it came to micro managing.


23 posted on 09/11/2012 4:54:20 AM PDT by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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