FORT BENNING, Ga -- Retired Col. Rick Rescorla, a Vietnam veteran who died during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, will be honored with the unveiling of a bronze statue at 11 a.m. on Sept. 17, at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center.
Rescorla, the vice president of corporate security for Morgan-Stanley, is credited for saving the lives of 2,700 people who worked in the World Trade Center's Tower 2. Seeing the first tower burn from his office on the 66th floor, he ordered the company's employees to evacuate - putting to use the regular evacuation drills he implemented for the brokerage firm's 30-plus floors after the 1993 truck-bomb attack. Halfway down, the second plane hit Tower 2. After getting the firm's employees out of Tower 2, Rescorla returned to the building. He didn't make it out.
"His heroic actions on (9/11), along with his extraordinary foresight and preparation, saved the lives of 2,700 people," said his widow Susan Rescorla.
The bronze statue was based on a Peter Arnett photo taken at la Drang, Vietnam, in 1965, when he served as a second lieutenant with 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. The photo was also the cover of the best-selling book 'We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young' by Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and Joe Galloway.
The statue unveiling will coincide with the arrival of a steel I-beam from the North Tower of the WTC. The beam, which begins a 1,000-mile road trip from New York to Fort Benning Saturday, is being dedicated to all the men and women of the U.S. Army who have lost their lives since the attacks and the Soldiers who continue to serve, said Greg Alspach, a volunteer coordinator with Iron and Steel-NYC.
Fire Engine No. 343, the New York Fire Department's ceremonial engine, will transport the 14-foot beam to Georgia with an escort of approximately 1,000 motorcycle riders, Alspach said.
A sister section of the beam was given to the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Alspach said. In 2010, an additional section will be escorted to Washington, D.C.
For more information, visit www.ironandsteelnyctofortbenning.org.