Shortly after 9/11, many thought it was imperative to teach about and promote the heroes of that deadly day. One such hero whose life and example we can never learn enough about was Rick Rescorla. Originally from England, he came to America and distinguished himself as an Army infantry officer in Vietnam. Later he became head of security at Morgan Stanley, and, after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, he knew the terrorists would go after the Twin Towers again. He warned the authorities continually; moreover, he led regular evacuation drills between 1993 and 2001. On 9/11, he successfully led almost every Morgan Stanley employee out to safety. He himself did not make it. His last known words were, “As soon as I make sure everyone else is out.” He said those words to another Morgan Stanley employee who had yelled to him that he had to get out too. Rick Rescorla’s remains were never found.
Rick’s life was not wasted; he saved a lot of people. But if the government had listened to him before 9/11, he would have saved even more. Rick was somebody who should have been posted at the top of our intelligence community, but he wasn’t. Today, we are still not listening to the most creative and prophetic thinkers among us. One of them is Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum on Democracy. He is the intellectual Rick Rescorla of our day.
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