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9/11 Hero honored

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Fort Benning-- He's credited with saving the lives of thousands of WorldTrade Center employees on September 11th.

Now, the late 9/11 hero is being honored for his bravery Before Rick Rescorla died he almost single-handedly saved the lives of thousands of south tower World Trade Center employees. For them and their families he was no less than a hero.

Now an exhibit honoring Rescorla has been unveiled at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning.

"Rick was like an angel leading them out into safety," says his widow, Susan Rescorla. "He was a solider, he was a warrior, and on that day he was doing exactly what he was doing in Vietnam, he was making the last sweep. He was being responsible for everyone."

He worked in the south tower as the vice president of security for Morgan Stanley. When the first plane hit the World trade Center, Rescorla ignored official's advice to stay put and evacuated more than 3,000 employees.

"He was saying to people, 'Today is a day to be proud to be an American, because tomorrow the world is going to be looking at you,'" says Susan Rescorla.

The 62-year old was last seen walking upstairs looking for stragglers. Rescorla was a retired Army colonel who fought in Vietnam, and was awarded both the Silver and Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. "These medals should not stay in a house. They should not be hidden away, and what better place to have the medals than to have them here so the legacy goes on," she says.

Now those medals, along with a portrait of a 26-year old Rescorla fighting in Vietnam, will forever be part of the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning where he was an officers candidate school graduate.

"He was a hero to just about everybody that knew him. That was just his nature to do things that were above and beyond what the average man will do," says Rescorla's best friend and retired Army Captain Daniel Hill.

Though he retired years before September 11th, for those who know his story, it's as if Rescorla died in the duty.

Rick Rescorla was also a key figure in the Vietnam War book We Were Soldiers Once... and Young.

His widow is working to get President Bush to award Rescorla the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com