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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 10:10 GMT
Honour urged for Cornish hero
Rick Rescorla, with megaphone
Rick Rescorla sang Cornish songs to fleeing workers
Rick Rescorla, the Cornish hero of the World Trade Centre attack, has been nominated for a posthumous bravery award.

Matthew Taylor, MP for Truro and St Austell, has written to the prime minister urging him to hand down the honour.

Mr Rescorla, 62, helped thousands of colleagues to flee the collapsing buildings, but refused to leave himself while others remained inside.

Survivors told how he sang Cornish songs to raise spirits during the evacuation.

He did the same when a bomb exploded in one of the Twin Towers in 1993.

His actions on 11 September prompted local councillors to name a sheltered housing block after him.

Rick Rescorla on book cover
Rick Rescorla features on a classic Vietnam memoir
Mr Taylor said: "Rick Rescorla's bravery in the September attacks meant that many more people escaped the buildings safely.

"His selfless actions have already been commemorated in a ballad, a housing scheme, and in a charity fund.

"But I think that a posthumous award would provide fitting recognition of what he did.

"I hope that Tony Blair will agree that recognition of this Cornishman's bravery is appropriate."

Battle honour

Mr Rescorla was born in Hayle but became a US citizen and fought in the Vietnam War.

He first found fame when his photograph appeared on the front cover of a book about the war, We Were Soldiers Once... And Young.

Rick Rescorla
Rick Rescorla returned regularly to Cornwall
The 1965 picture showed him on active service - "dogtags hanging out, pocket unbuttoned, helmet strap hanging".

The book has been made into a film, shortly to be released with Mel Gibson as the star.

But the exiled Cornishman's role in the notorious battle of Ia Drang has been cut from the storyline.

It does feature a bugle captured in battle - actually found by Mr Rescorla.

Tribute song

A song in his honour is due to be released as a charity CD just before Christmas.

The Ballad of Rick Rescorla has been written and recorded by Penzance country singer Russ Holland, and features Hayle Male Voice Choir.

Profits will go towards a fund set up to pay for a tribute in Hayle.

US legend

A memorial service was held in the town in September, attended by US military personnel from RAF St Mawgan, and senior managers from Morgan Stanley bank.

Mr Rescorla was the bank's vice president in charge of security in the World Trade Centre.

Bank executive Stephen Newhouse reminded the congregation of his courage during the 1993 evacuation, when he had been the last to leave his tower.

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

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Karen Kay
"He put the lives of others before his own"
Rick Rescorlas's wife Susan
"He would not have thought he was a hero"



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See also:

05 Oct 01 | England
Farewell to New York hero
26 Sep 01 | UK
British dead 'nearer 200'
18 Sep 01 | UK
Heroic Britons missing
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