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Rick Rescorla Rick’s widow, Susan Recorla, attended the unveiling of his name on the side of a new GWR Intercity Express. Photos courtesy Great Western Railway

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UK Train Named for Anglo-American 9/11 Hero
Rick Rescorla helped over 2500 people evacuate the South Tower of the World Trade Center

Published on April 16, 2019

A new train for the Great Western Railway line has been named in honor of 9/11 Hero Rick Rescorla. In 2001, the Cornish-born Mr Rescorla was Head of Security for Morgan Stanley. He helped evacuate over 2500 people from the South Tower of the World Trade Center, singing Cornish folk songs as he led evacuees. He was last seen on the 10th floor, heading upwards, shortly before the South Tower collapsed, and three weeks later was confirmed to have died.

Mr Rescorla was born in Hayle, Cornwall, in 1939. From 1943, his hometown became headquarters for the 175th Infantry Regiment of the US 29th Infantry Division during WW2 operations. It's said that Mr Rescorla's goal of becoming a soldier was inspired in part by this experience. Mr Rescorla later became a soldier in the British Army, before a brief stint in the Metropolitan Police in London. He later moved to Brooklyn before enlisting in the US Army, where he fought in the Vietnam war, including fighting in the Battle of la Drang. For his time serving in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

GWR Intercity Train One of GWR’s new Intercity Express Trains

After leaving the military, Mr Rescorla worked in corporate security, including a number of years working for Morgan Stanley. In this capacity, he was credited with a keen understanding of the threat to the World Trade Center, including being the subject of a 2005 documentary entitled "The Man Who Predicted 9/11". His contingency planning for a terrorist attack on the World Trade Centers allowed his colleagues to prepare for such a scenario, and undoubtedly was a big part in the huge number of lives he helped to save.

The naming ceremony of the train, which will travel between London and various stations in Cornwall, took place on Saturday April 13. Mr Rescorla's widow, Susan, along with other family and friends from the US flew in specifically to attend the ceremony. Ahead of the ceremony, Susan Rescorla said "Rick was so proud of his Cornish roots and when we visited we would always travel on the train. To know Rick is being honored in this way and is remembered with such fondness is great comfort. I know he would be so proud of this."

Mark Hopwood, GWR Managing Director, explained that "Naming trains has been a part of the GWR since the days of Brunel and we are humbled that Rick Rescorla’s name will be carried by one of our new Intercity Express Trains ... Rick’s story is a remarkable tale of incredible bravery and it is little wonder that the public want to recognise him as someone who really epitomises the spirit of the region we serve.

So next time you head on a GWR train to Cornwall from London, check out the name, as you may be traveling on a train dedicated to a true Anglo-American hero.

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