June 24, 2009

War College Memorial

The U.S. Army War College has a small memorial to its graduates who died in combat in a quiet corner of Carlisle Barracks. I stopped by at the end of a run a few days ago to read the plaque. Among the names listed is Richard Rescorla, COL USAR (Ret.). The name sounded vaguely familiar and it was unusual to list a retired officer so I hit the innertubes and got a number of hits, including this one by his widow. COL Rescorla's picture is on the cover of Hal Moore's account of the Battle of the Ia Drang, We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young. A Briton who emigrated to the United States, he was commissioned, served in Vietnam, and was chief of security for Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center on 9/11. He predicted another terrorist attack after the failed attempt in 1993 and his quarterly all-hands evacuation drills are credited with saving all but six of Morgan Stanley's employees. Three of the six who did not survive were Rescorla and two of his deputies who were last seen going up the stairs to ensure that everyone was out. They must have known that the building was coming down at any minute but they were determined to leave no one behind.

One of Manchester's books on Churchill includes this passage from the Lays of Ancient Rome:

Thus spake brave Horatious, the Captain of the Gate
'Death cometh to every man in this world, sooner or late.
What better death can a man have, than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?'

Posted by LMC at June 24, 2009 04:04 AM | TrackBack

If he's on the cover of Moore's book, then he served with Moore in Ia Drang? That's interesting trivia along with his brilliance to train the Morgan Stanley employees to escape their tower prior to 9/11.

Posted by: jen at June 25, 2009 09:23 AM