RIP Rick Rescorla 1939 – 2001

Rick Rescorla's memoral in Penpol Terrace, Hayle

Cornish born hero Rick Rescorla, who saved almost 2,700 lives on September 11, 2001 only to lose his own, has been honoured by an Opera in the USA.

The San Francisco Opera is producing “Heart of a Soldier,” based on Rescorla’s life.

A memorial was built at Hayle, where he was born, and although he is known throughout the Cornish world for his heroism, it is in his adopted home of the USA that his final acts are best recorded.

The New York Times recently carried an article about Rescorla and the Opera:


“The story of Rescorla’s heroism during the World Trade Center attacks is the stuff of opera, a hypertheatrical medium that holds a magnifying mirror up to nature. So it’s not entirely surprising that Rescorla’s story will materialize on the stage of the San Francisco Opera in the form of “Heart of a Soldier” beginning on Saturday [3 September, 2011], the eve of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The opera, composed by Christopher Theofanidis to a libretto by Donna DiNovelli, is based on the book of the same title (Simon & Schuster), written in 2002 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. Stewart…

San Francisco may seem an unlikely place for a major commemoration of New York’s darkest hours. But David Gockley, the general director of the San Francisco Opera, which commissioned the piece, points out that both of the planes that struck the World Trade Center were bound for Los Angeles and carrying dozens of Californians on their way home.

“Perhaps we’re also a bit more ready to see this story dramatized than our East Coast compatriots are,” Mr. Gockley said from San Francisco. “In any case 9/11 belongs to all Americans, and our hope is that ‘Heart of a Soldier’ will eventually be performed nationwide and worldwide.”

The final chapter of the life of Rick Rescorla, who was the second vice president for corporate security for Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center, has also been documented in a 2002 film from the History Channel, “The Man Who Predicted 9/11.” Convinced that Osama bin Laden would attack the World Trade Center, Rescorla had developed a detailed evacuation plan, and on Sept. 11 he defied official instructions and implemented it.

The opera “Heart of a Soldier,” ranging far beyond Rescorla’s final days, traces the broad sweep of his life against the volatile historical landscape of the late 20th century. It begins with his boyhood in Cornwall, ….. where he was indelibly struck by the American G.I.’s who arrived in 1943 to prepare for the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The opera continues with Rescorla’s stint with the British military police in war-torn Rhodesia, where he forges a deep and life-altering friendship with an American soldier, Daniel J. Hill, who inspires him to join the United States Army and serve in Vietnam.

Several decades later Rescorla is a retired Army colonel, decorated veteran of three wars and survivor of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The opera’s focus shifts to his idyllic autumn romance with Susan Greer, who became his second wife.

The opera’s final scenes depict Rescorla’s actions on Sept. 11. Between 8:46 a.m., when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower, and 9:03 a.m., when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower, Rescorla mobilized to evacuate all but 6 of his company’s 2,700 employees, who worked on the 44th through 74th floors of the South Tower, using his powerful voice to sing them down the smoke-clogged stairs and out of the building.

Returning to hunt for possible stragglers, Rescorla died under 500,000 tons of steel and concrete”.

———————————— e-magazine remembers Rick Rescorla
RIP also all those people from over 100 nations who were killed in New York on 9/11/2001, condemnation on those who caused it, and lamentation for the loss of freedom around the world that wrought.

Acknowledgment to The New York Times
Photos by Charles Winpenny, Cornwall Cam

Loaded by Editor,

9  September, 2011