US

Trump Awards Presidential Citizens Medal To September 11 Hero Rick Rescorla

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Amber Athey White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump posthumously awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal to Rick Rescorla, a hero credited with saving thousands of lives in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks.

Rescorla, a Vietnam veteran, was working as the director of security for Morgan Stanley when the South Tower of the World Trade Center was hit by one of the planes hijacked by terrorists. He told employees to ignore announcements telling them to stay at their desks, instead escorting them down the stairs.

Rescorla was born in Cornwall, UK, and people in the South Tower recalled him singing Cornish hymns as he brought people to safety. He also refused to quit after evacuating the Morgan Stanley employees, instead going back into the tower to help more people. (RELATED: Moment Of Silence Observed At Ground Zero To Remember 9/11)

“Everybody said, ‘Rick your folks are out. You’ve done what you need to do,’ but he pointed up the stairwell and said, ‘You hear those screams? There’s more people up there. I have to help get them out,'” Lt. Col. Andrew Watson said in 2015.

Rescorla was last seen climbing up the stairs in the South Tower shortly before the tower collapsed and was pronounced dead. He was 62 years old.

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Recorla’s widow, Susan, accepted the award on behalf of her late husband, who is credited with saving nearly 2,700 people on 9/11.

Rescorla called Susan from his cell phone after the plane hit the South Tower, telling her, “Stop crying. I have to get these people out safely. If something should happens to me, I want you to know I’ve never been happier. You made my life.”

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The president first announced on September 11, 2019 that he would be awarding Rescorla with the medal.