Have We Forgotten 9/11?

By | September 11, 2017 | 0 Comments


My wife and I were up at the top of the World Trade Center a few days before the millennium. We spoke to the elevator operators. We saw the servers setting tables in Windows on the World restaurant. We bought Nathan’s hot dogs from the guy behind the counter. We joked with the two women who worked in the souvenir shop. After 9/11, everyone talked about the employees of major financial firms who died. But what about the hundreds of maintenance workers and others? They were real people with families and friends, hopes, and plans. They were Americans.

Does this photo mean anything to you?

Rick Rescorla, chief of security for Morgan Stanley, safely evacuated all 2,700 employees on 9/11, except for six. Four of the six were himself and his three deputies (two pictured above): Wesley Mercer, Jorge Velasquez, and Godwin Forde. That’s true multiculturalism. Rick led his people to safety, shouting encouragement and singing songs through a bullhorn.

Rick was last seen going back into Tower 2 shortly before its collapse. When he was told he should get out, he replied, “As soon as I make sure everyone else is out.” His body was never recovered, but U.S. troops at Fallujah remembered him well:

What about this photo?

The firefighter going up the stairs when most people were going down is Mike Kehoe. From the expression on his face, I would guess that he had doubts about his survival. But he did survive. He got out about 30 seconds before the tower collapsed. But 343 of his fellow firefighters were not so lucky. In order to have survivor guilt, you have to survive.

And this photo?