In remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, I introduced my students to one of my heroes. I'd like to introduce him to you as well.
His name is Rick Rescorla.
He saved over 2,5000 lives on that day. In fact, he's often been called the Man Who Predicted 9/11. As the security expert for Morgan Stanley, he realized the vulnerability of the WTC, and he worked to make sure that everyone would get out alive should a terrorist attack occur. He drilled all the employees about safety procedures, practiced, and worked to make sure everyone knew what to do. And then, when it actually happened, he went back in to make sure that there were no stragglers.
He defined the words bravery and sacrifice.
A number of years ago one of my absolute favorite books military history books was written by Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, titled We Were Soldiers Once and Young. This book tells the story of the 7th Cavalry and the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in November of 1965. It is, in my opinion, one of the most gut-wrenching stories out of that era. On the cover of that book is a picture of a lean and haggard soldier. That soldier was Rick Rescorla. As a platoon leader, he was definitely one of the best.
As I told my kinds, I don't know if I have the strength to do what Rick Rescorla did in his life, and hopefully I'll never have to find out. But I did want them to meet him and sometimes, realize that life is bigger than we are.
And amazingly enough, you could have heard a pin drop.
For more information on this true hero, go here.