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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
Farewell to New York hero
Hundreds mourned Mr Rescorla at the service
Tears have been shed at a memorial service in a Cornish church for Cornishman Rick Rescorla, who died helping colleagues escape the World Trade Center last month.

His courage became known around the world when a photograph was published, showing him guiding colleagues down from the 42nd floor.

About 300 people at the service on Thursday evening listened as a defiant message from one of Mr Rescorla's children in America was read out.

"A father is a hero to his children, a powerful, undefeatable figure, capable of anything," it read.

"In my eyes, my father is still undefeated. He faced his fears and the fears of others and won, by delivering so many safely into the hands of their families."

He was a hero, and now he is a legend

Stephan Newhouse, bank executive
Mr Rescorla, 62, was one of only six staff of Morgan Stanley Investment Bank to be lost in the attack on 11 September.

The congregation at St Elwyn the Martyr church in Hayle heard how Mr Rescorla sang Cornish and American songs to keep spirits up.

Hayle Male Voice Choir led worshippers in 10 hymns and songs at the service, from both sides of the Atlantic.

They included Trelawney, regarded as Cornwall's "national anthem", and Battle Hymn Of The Republic.

Rick Rescorla
Rick Rescorla: "A great Cornishman"
Bank staff and US Navy personnel were among the congregation in the Victorian church, overlooking the Hayle estuary.

They were joined by friends who had been at school with Mr Rescorla in Hayle, or played rugby with him in Cornwall.

Some still saw him every year on his trips home from America.

There were tears on the faces of friends, and of others who had never known him.

The vicar of Hayle, Canon Tony Neal, read a message from Mr Rescorla's wife in America.

It recalled his last words to her, made on a mobile phone from inside the doomed south tower.

Susan Rescorla
Susan Rescorla had a last message
"If anything happens to me," he had told her, "I want you to know you made my life."

Lieutenant Commander Denny Harrington of the US Navy read out the message from one of Mr Rescorla's two grown-up children - without naming the author.

He told mourners Mr Rescorla was a great American, and also a great Cornishman.

He had taken US citizenship as a young man and survived a bloody action in the Vietnam War.

A photograph on the internet shows him on active service in 1965 - "dogtags hanging out, pocket unbuttoned, helmet strap hanging".

Morgan Stanley executive Stephan Newhouse said Mr Rescorla's colleagues had witnessed his courage before.

In 1993, he had been last to leave his tower when a bomb went off in the World Trade Center.

Mr Newhouse said: "He was a hero after that, and he is now a legend."

There are plans to erect a statue to Rick Rescorla in Hayle, one they say should be as big as the man himself.

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See also:

26 Sep 01 | UK
British dead 'nearer 200'
18 Sep 01 | UK
Heroic Britons missing
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