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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 20:19 GMT 21:19 UK
Medal hope for Cornish 9/11 hero
Rick Rescorla in the World Trade Center
MP Andrew George says a posthumous medal is overdue
A Cornishman who died in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001, may be given a posthumous gallantry award.

Rick Rescorla, 62, who was born in Hayle, helped 2,700 people to safety after terrorists flew a plane into the South Tower in New York.

Local MP Andrew George has been told the prime minister will personally ensure his case is considered in the United States.

Mr Rescorla's body was never found.

Cornish songs

The Vietnam War veteran, who was a security chief, died as he helped people to escape following the atrocity.

Survivors said Mr Rescorla sang Cornish songs to keep up the spirits of those around him while making sure they left the building after it was hit by the plane.

Tony Blair wrote to Mr George saying that he will personally see the case for a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George Bush is considered in the United States.

In the letter, Mr Blair wrote: "It appears that no medal has yet been awarded, but we are trying to find out the current position from the US administration.

"If the award is to be made, I believe this would be the most appropriate way to recognise Mr Rescorla's bravery. However, I will certainly see that the matter continues to be fully considered."

Mr George said: "Ricky Rescorla was a proud Cornishman. It would be most appropriate that he received a British award, but I understand that rules apply in these cases."

Mr George says although he is pleased to receive the prime minister's reassurances, he believes something should have been done earlier.

"Frankly it is shameful that we are now nearly four years on from the terrible event itself and Rick Rescorla has not received, posthumously, what all who know about his case believe he richly deserves."

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11 Sep 03 |  Cornwall


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